My high school has a large greenhouse that's sadly been neglected and unused for several years. The students have decided to organize a "garden club" and revive the greenhouse, and I'm the faculty sponsor. I've grown some plants in my own backyard garden, but running a classroom-sized greenhouse is beyond my expertise. Especially since we're starting from scratch! We have four walls, a roof, and some dreams. The club has begun to reach out to nurseries in the area (both local and big-box). Other than that, where can I look for more information or guidance? Are there books, websites, or programs covering this sort of thing that I should be aware of?
This site from Michigan State University's excellent Extension office contains some information for you, but more importantly, also contains this link to the US Botanic Gardens new manual entitled the “Greenhouse Manual: An Introductory Guide for Educators.” It's a downloadable PDF.
Here is the Table of Contents:
I also recommend getting more information on Integrated Pest Management than that provided by the manual, because your greenhouse will get pests at some point, and IPM is both an excellent idea at all times and a great way to teach students that the "Oh, I think I my garden has a bug! Let's grab the most toxic spray I can find to kill it!" mindset is horrible for the environment and self-defeating when solving pest problems.
Another resource for identifying pests both plant and animal is the "Ortho Problem Solver" reference, also known as The Big Book of Bugs. Ignore the advice to spray toxic stuff everywhere, though. This book can be very expensive, so look for a used version.
I think the manual I linked to will give you a very good start on your project, especially when you consult some of the many references included in Appendix 4.
I have fond memories of my high school's greenhouse (except maybe for the time I fell into the large Opuntia cactus while escaping from a hose-wielding fellow student), and I wish you the best of luck getting the greenhouse up and running!
Several conclusions from when my university decided to do this.
It's awesome. Keep it open to anyone who wants to help. Even 1 time - no club memberships, no promises - just make it easy. But always have a trusted club member oversee newbie activities. Both for security reasons and - more importantly - about team management issues (what to do is the hardest question).
You need a shed for all the tools. Get a combination lock so everyone from the club knows the combination but no keys are involved.
You need at least one person with actual gardening experience. Find someone somehow.
Labels. Chose on a labeling scheme. Each seeded area must be labeled.
Compost. A compost pile is a great idea.
After the first year read up on which plants should be planted after which other plants. Crop rotation.
Consider what would be valuable to grow. E.g. around our place potatoes were dirt cheap while parsley and dill costed a fortune.
Last but not least: have tons of fun!