The glass smoking huts were built in 2006, after a Metro ordinance required companies to limit nonsmokers’ exposure to tobacco smoke. But now, GE is making their campus entirely smoke free—no one is allowed to smoke anywhere on the property—and there’s no need for the huts.
So GE is donating most of the huts to the community. Six of them are going to Bernheim Forest for an entirely different use—they’ll be turned into greenhouses. GE spokesman Jeff Caywood says the company is excited that Bernheim can reuse the huts.
“It’s kind of looking at something that was once used probably not in the best way but it’s going to be teaching some students in after school programs the basics of gardening and agriculture and things of that nature,” he said.
Bernheim Executive Director Mark Wourms says the plan is to use them in the forest’s edible garden.
“Much of this edible garden will be taking not only about how to use best practices to grow fruits and vegetables and cut flowers, but will also be talking about how to teach math and science in the garden,” he said.
Other huts will be donated to the Southwest Family YMCA. GE will keep two of the huts to use at Appliance Park as covered bike parking.