2 years after shooting, McNair to roll out lab to produce food

The Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy is seeking to roll out an aquaponics food lab as a way to show the school's progress since the campus dealt with an man who came to the school with a gun two years ago, officials said Monday. Michael Brandon Hill received a 20-year prison sentence last year for the campus invasion, where he fired some shots but was talked into surrendering by a school bookkeeper. No one was hurt.

On Thursday, the anniversary of that incident, officials will show off the food lab and the organic fish and vegetables it is expected to produce, which will contribute to the school’s desire to feed 20,000 children by 2020, according to a press release. The event will take place at 11 a.m. at the school, at 2162 Second Ave. in Decatur.

The children will raise fish and vegetables together through use of aquaponics, the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture, in a self-contained ecosystem. Food from the system will be distributed to area families through the Community Assistance Center.

The initiative, in collaboration with Georgia group HATponics, also “includes standards-based instruction across all subject areas,” according to a district release.