City officials are entertaining a proposal that the city grow its own lettuce or microgreens in a hydroponic operation inside the old Stiles School building to generate revenue.
After receiving a state grant to fund the assessment of toxin removal from the former Thompson, Stiles and Blake schools, city officials are beginning to review development plans for the sites to promote economic development and get the buildings on the tax rolls.
Although the city is seeking zoning approvals to sell Thompson School to one of three developers for roughly 50 units of market-rate housing, Corporation Counsel Lee Tiernan believes the city has more latitude with the Stiles building.
“There’s a strong interest in hydroponics,” Tiernan informed the City Council. Tiernan has retained Hunter Naizby, a consultant with Shoreline Supply Chain Consulting LLC, to advise about the possibility of adding a hydroponics space to West Haven. Stiles, because of its large acreage and location on wetlands, is an ideal spot, Tiernan said.
“When it’s done right, hydroponic development can be a cornerstone of a city’s larger efforts to increase sustainability, create employment opportunities and generate community wealth,” Naizby said.
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