Basic improvements planned for Corbett and Gleason

(This is the last in a series of articles examing improvements for Carson City schools under a proposed $18 million bond issue.)

Built as identical elementary schools in 1954, Corbett and Gleason buildings are still serving the Carson City School District but in different capacities.

The Corbett complex houses Opportunity High School for students who have been removed from traditional high school and Pioneer High School for those student looking for an alternative to Carson High School.

Gleason serves as the Professional Development Center to train teachers and houses the early childhood and prekindergarten programs.

Although nearly a half a century old, the building that serves as Pioneer High is still functional.

"The building itself is a cool building," said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the school district. "It's got all this great light from the north. It has big classrooms with high ceilings."

The lights inside the building are decorative but not practical and are scheduled to be replaced if the school district passes the proposed $18 million bond in this year's election.

"Each bulb is 600 watts," Mitchell said. "They overheat the room tremendously with all the wattage. Also, when they go out, it's hard to find replacements."

The bond would go to make general improvements throughout the district such as replace damaged asphalt and upgrade outdated systems.

The bond is not expected to raise taxes but if it does not pass, the tax rate could go down. The cost of the bond is about $39 annually for the owner of a $100,000 home.

The pipes at the two schools also need to be replaced.

"They're 46 years old," Mitchell said. "Those systems are just antiquated."

The heating system is beyond antiquated, however. It is inaccessible.

The heating system was set into the ground first then the foundation was laid on top.

"You can't do any maintenance on it," Mitchell said.

Some programmatic changes would also need to be made so Pioneer High will be more suited for teenage students rather than elementary children.

"All of the bathrooms really aren't designed for the older clientele," Mitchell said. "Some of these toilets are really teeny."

School: Corbett complex

Built: Building 1 (Pioneer High School) - 1954; Building 2 (Opportunity High School) - 1959

Number of students enrolled: Included in Carson High School's enrollment

Estimated cost of improvements: $176,000

School: Gleason complex

Built: 1954

Number of students enrolled: 60

Estimated cost of improvements: $160,000


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