LUBBOCK, Texas – It was a Texas-sized celebration for the grand opening of Lubbock Independent School District’s (LISD) Agri-STEM complex. The 44-acre facility was built with the goal of preparing students for a future in agriculture.

“We sit here in the middle of the single most productive agricultural region in our state, and one of the very most productive in the country, so I think it’s important that we, as the largest school district in the area, work to allow our students to have opportunities in that industry,” said Zach Brady, president of the LISD Board of Trustees.

The $10.5 million complex was created as a partnership with Texas Tech University (TTU). It’s located near 4th St. and Quaker Ave.

“We’re providing the land, and it’s going to represent a wonderful opportunity for those students to an industry that’s so important to West Texas and beyond,” said Dr. Lawrence Schovanec, president of TTU. “This is a wonderful example of what can happen when you work together.”

The building was funded by the $130 million bond for the district that voters approved in 2018. It will offer courses in vet, food and plant sciences, as well as environment and natural resources.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to really gain those hands-on basics, to be able to go out and work in industry and get the skills that they need to go out and, as soon as they leave high school they can provide for their families,” said Cassie Sanders, a floral design instructor at LISD.

John Klein, an incoming junior at Lubbock High School and a junior advisor for Lubbock District FFA, will be one of the first students to learn at the complex when it opens for classes on Thursday. Hundreds of sophomores, juniors and seniors across the district will be bussed to and from their respective campuses to the Agri-STEM complex for their courses. Those students will take two classes at the facility for a total of 80 minutes.

“You’ll be able to take many new classes that had not been offered before for most home campuses,” Klein said. “It’s not only for Lubbock High, Estacado, or Monterey, it’s for all five high schools, and you really get to become friends with one another.”

With all five of the district’s high schools now having Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters, 

Brady believes this investment will pay off, and give LISD students an upper hand when it comes to life after high school.

“It’s experiential learning opportunities taught by our own top-flight ag-science teachers, and also with guest appearances from folks from Tech, and we’re going to have Tech students working with judging teams,” Brady said. “There’s just a myriad of opportunities for students from every high school in our district.”
For more information on the Agri-STEM Complex, visit the district’s website.