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WNCC ready to open Douglas Campus on Thursday

Joyce Hollister

Now’s your chance to see the new Douglas County college campus.

After being under construction for nearly a year, Bently Hall, the first building at Western Nevada Community College, Douglas, will be open for public view.

Douglas County residents are invited to take a tour and attend the open house tomorrow. Ceremonies begin at 11 a.m., and the ribbon-cutting, tours of the new building and refreshments will follow.

“I think the completion of this goal is evidence that this project is in line with a great majority of our community in terms of their priorities,” said Douglas Task Force Chair Steve Lewis, speaking on the successful three-year campaign to raise funds for the college.

“It’s just satisfying to know that we’re working on a project that a lot of people feel strongly about and feel good about.”

The $2.3 million project was kicked off with a donation of 10 acres of land at Bently Science Park in Minden by Bently Nevada Corp. Numerous large and small donations plus two grants from the Nevada Legislature and a grant from Douglas County helped to push the campaign over the top.

Groundbreaking was held Sept. 12, 1996. The college is located at 1680 Bently Parkway South off Buckeye Road in Minden. Turn on Buckeye at Bently Nevada’s headquarters on Highway 395.

The opening ceremonies will begin with a presentation of the colors by Carson Valley Boy Scouts, followed by students from Minden Elementary School, who are donating an American flag to be flown on the college flagpole.

The students are Paul Dente, Tristan Hall, Trent Hennessy-York, Whitney Higgins, Desirae Weyland, Carina Whitcomb, Shaelynn McCole and Bill Molzan. The national anthem will be played by High Sierra Trumpet Choir, a group of young musicians who live in the area.

The Rev. Pete Nelson of the Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville will give the invocation. Giving the welcome and introduction will be Steve Lewis, who will also make closing remarks.

Recognition of the scores of donors who have made the college possible will be made by members of the task force, Greg Betts, Bob Pohlman, Kathy Halbardier, Sondra Condron, Joyce Hollister and Lewis.

Speakers include Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, Donald Bently and Roger Harker of Bently Nevada, Douglas County Commission Chair Jacques Etchegoyhen, Richard Kudrna of Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino, University Board of Regents Chair Jill Derby and Jim Randolph, president of WNCC.

Mark Williams, WNCC instructor of music, will sing “America the Beautiful,” and the ribbon cutting will conclude the program.

Background music will be provided by the String Beings, and refreshments have been donated by Douglas County restaurants. College tours will be given by WNCC staff.

Plaques designating donors and others who have helped to make the opening possible will be displayed in the lobby of the building. A permanent “Wall of Honor” will be installed later, and new donors will be able to have their names included.

For a complete list of names of those who have donated as of Monday morning, see the advertisement on page 5.

Fund-raising continues for equipment for the college as well as for student scholarships. To donate, call the Douglas WNCC office at 782-2413 or Helaine Jesse, director of development, at 887-3164.