Kansas State University will close its 120-acre horticultural research center in Haysville, the university announced Thursday.
Lower state funding for higher education and declining enrollment at K-State led university officials to cut $3.5 million from College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension's budget this year, which in turn led to the decision to close the John C. Pair Horticulture Center, according to a press release from the university.
The university will also close its 80-acre stand of pecan trees in Chetopa.
"Naturally, with budget reductions there are difficult decisions," College of Agriculture dean and K-State Research and Extension director John Floros said in the release. "We value the history and contributions of our faculty at the center."
Five full-time staffers work at the Haysville center, in addition to several student summer workers. Some of the full-time staffers will be offered the chance to relocate.
Opened in 1970, the center has specialized in research of woody ornamental production and use. The center also researches and tests shrubs, grapes, peaches, strawberries, asparagus, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and tomatoes. Shade trees, ornamental trees, flowers, turfgrass and medicinal plants are also grown there.
The center opened a $400,000 building in 2013 that also houses Kansas Forest Service facilities.
The center will remain open for the time being, while K-State Research and Extension develops a plan for its closure.