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District works on expansion projects

by Rick Kester

Following completion in 1996 of the building expansion projects funded by the successful 1992 bond proposal, the Douglas County School District turned its attention to upgrading and revitalizing older facilities. To further that important effort, both in the Valley and at Lake Tahoe, the school district has many building and remodeling projects in various stages of completion.

It is important that taxpayers be aware of how their tax dollars are being spent to update schools so students have environments which are conducive to learning.

What major facilities projects were completed this summer or are still in progress in Douglas County School District?

George Whittell High School

n Intercom system replacement, main unit

n Installation of new gymnasium wood floor

n Rewiring business computer lab for new computers

Kingsbury Middle School

n Installation of retaining wall and two sets of stairs to playground and soccer field;

n Video cable installation to all classrooms.

Zephyr Cove Elementary School

n Addition of three classrooms and restrooms;

n New playground and paving refurbishment or replacement.

Douglas High School

n Installation of new computer lab casework, wiring and computers for completion of a new lab to operate Plato software;

n Installation of lockable storage areas in the small gymnasium storage room;

n Re-roofing of the vocational building;

n Repair/replacement of track runways, etc.

Jacks Valley Elementary School

n Installation of new carpet throughout the school;

n Installation of new windows and exterior doors throughout the school;

CC Meneley Elementary School

n Installation of new carpet throughout the school;

n Installation of new vinyl tile in the multipurpose room;

n Installation of new windows and exterior doors throughout the school;

Gardnerville Elementary School

n Installation of parent club-purchased school sign;

Jacobsen High School

n Installation of new carpet – two classrooms and the hallway.

How do these projects impact students and their instruction?

Any construction project is disruptive in nature, but the school district makes every effort to impact student learning as little as possible. Some work must be done during the school day, so inconveniences and noise are unavoidable. When possible, work is scheduled after school and on weekends and holidays. Student safety is always a primary concern and extra measures may need to be taken to ensure that they are safe. If you look at completed renovations, you will realize that all the inconvenience is worth the result, a better learning environment for students.

What plans for facilities will be implemented in the near future?

The effort to modernize our older schools is a continuing process. Next summer, the District is making plans for additions to Gardnerville Elementary School, as the first phase of a plan to modernize the school. This is in line with the long-range facility modernization plan adopted by the Board of Trustees for Gardnerville Elementary. In addition, the district is planning reroofing, adding storage and upgrading mechanical systems in several schools this coming summer, all in an effort to keep school environments conducive to student learning. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

For more information, please contact me at 782-5131.

n Rick Kester is director of business services for the Douglas County School District.