SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – From torpedoes to aquaponics, the old Westinghouse Mill in Sharon is looking a lot different lately. The building that once served as an electric and transformer factory is now the home for sustainable agriculture.

The mill once held over 10,000 employees and was a torpedo and transformers manufacturer during World War II. The mill closed sometime during the 80s and for the last eight years, renovations have been in the works.

Although the old mill may look different, it still serves to benefit the community. In this decade, it’s through aquaponics.

“Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture which is the raising of fish and hydroponics, which is soilless agriculture,” said Rober Studer, director of aquaponics.

The 25,000-square-foot facility in the mill is growing fish, lettuce and herbs to sell to local grocery stores and restaurants. The practice of aquaponics uses zero waste or chemicals and saves water.

“The main thing is the fish are creating all the nutrients for the plants. But since we are rotating on a monthly cycle, we’ll do a monthly harvest,” Studer said.

About 10,000 fish, 160,000 heads of lettuce and 10,000 herbs will be produced a year, all to help the community out of a food desert.

“We’re actually a food swamp where there are more processed foods available than fresh foods. With our environment outside, we can only grow a couple of months of the year,” Studer said.

Over 250 one-gram Tilipia are growing in the small tanks. It will take about nine months to raise them to two pounds. And food isn’t the only purpose the project will serve.

“It is broken up into a commercial and educational side where we can actually practice with some science-based agriculture,” Studer said.

Plans are in the works to incorporate schools, veterans and disabled persons into the experience.

Although the project is costly, many organizations have helped fund the outcome, and it is part of the bigger picture of providing sustainable food.