Amy's Greenhouse, with patio and gazebo, at the Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center.

Greenhouse Gets Generous Ventilation Donation

Written By: City School District of New Rochelle

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Amy’s Greenhouse at the Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center has received a donation to upgrade its ventilation system and enhance its energy efficiency from Rough Brothers, Inc., the largest greenhouse design, engineering and manufacturing company in North America. The CEO of Wadsworth Controls, Patricia Dean, donated the environmental control system to work with the equipment being installed. 

News of the donation was made official when, during its November 13 meeting, the Board of Education approved the resolution to accept the generous gift worth $25,000.

“We’ve been eagerly awaiting the green light on this upgrade since August,” shared an enthusiastic Kathleen Connolly, who is a Pre-K teacher at the Barnard Early Childhood Center. “We are so excited! Being able to regulate the temperature more accurately is going to make a world of difference for the overall function of Amy’s Greenhouse.”

Amy’s Greenhouse, a sizable 662-square-foot glass and metal greenhouse, was erected in 2005 in memory of Amy O’Doherty, who perished at the age of 23 in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Amy’s mother Geraldine Davie, a former Barnard Elementary Pre-K teacher, helped create the facility through generous gifts donated in Amy’s memory. Since 2005, Amy’s Greenhouse has been utilized for many educational and extracurricular programs, as well as the school’s annual 9-11 ceremony.

“Amy’s Greenhouse is a beloved district site,” said Connolly. “Along with being an enduring living memorial, the greenhouse is part classroom, part science lab, part seed starter, part plant conservatory, and much more.”

The system, which will be installed this winter, includes a new environmental control system, horizontal air flow management fans, and evaporator cooler. Together, these components will be controlled as a single, integrated system.

Rob Tanzer, who heads the Institutional Greenhouse and Conservatory Restoration & Renovation group at Rough Brothers and is known as the company’s “greenhouse geek,” has been the district’s point person. Tanzer’s team of experienced engineers, designers, manufacturers, and constructors is an industry leader in monumental conservatory renovations, construction, and recreation.

“Everyone at Rough Brothers is so pleased to be able to do this for New Rochelle,” said Tanzer. “The greenhouse means so much to so many people in this district and community; it’s an honor to provide these materials and installation – at no charge to the district – so that programs and positivity can continue to grow in Amy’s Greenhouse.” 

Connolly said the district is thrilled to have made this connection with Rough Brothers.

“After this new ventilation system is installed, Mr. Tanzer has said that Rough Brothers will continue to work with us,” she added.

She is particularly looking forward to working with their team to create an ongoing maintenance schedule. That would keep Amy’s Greenhouse performing at its best, so it can continue to provide a place of learning, reflection and solace.