Sizable school bond projects on schedule

Eagle Valley Middle School and Empire Elementary School students should see some major transformations when they return to classes in the fall.

"It's going to be a huge change," said district representative Mike Mitchell, who is overseeing the project. "The entrances are in different places and classes are moved around."

Mitchell updated members of the Carson City School Board during Tuesday's meeting on projects included in the rollover bond measure passed in the 2010 election.

Two new wings are being added to house fourth and fifth grades at Empire Elementary School.

"There's been a lot of work done; all of the exterior is finished," Mitchell said. "We're beginning to paint the inside."

The nearly 25,000 additional square feet will eliminate the need for portable classrooms.

"From an educational standpoint, it connects the school together," Mitchell said. "When you walk in, it will now be one unified school."

Some remodeling also is planned, including swapping the locations of the administration office and the library so the office is more accessible to visitors.

Most of the work at Eagle Valley Middle School also will be complete by the beginning of the school year, Mitchell said. He said the gymnasium, which will seat about 750, should be finished by October.

The entrance to the school will shift to the addition, making the campus more secure, Mitchell said.

"It's going to be safer," he said. "And it's going to have a sense of character."

Changes, albeit less dramatic, are coming Carson High School, as well.

An addition will be added to the back of what is known as the "old gym," which will house a wrestling area upstairs and a weight room downstairs.

"You really won't notice a difference to the school," Mitchell said, "but it's a big change operationally. Students and staff will notice."

The 10-year rollover bond was approved by voters in November's election and will be divided into three phases.

In the first phase, every school in the district will receive improvements - such things as heating and lighting upgrades, improved access for the disabled, and heightened security. It will cost $25 million, with Empire and Eagle Valley accounting for $13 million of that.

The second phase will cost $10 million and will begin in 2013 and be completed in 2014. It is expected to address needs at Pioneer High School and in career and technical arts at Carson High School.

The third phase of the bond will be designated to upgrade technology throughout the district.￿


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