County loans China Spring $172,000

MINDEN - Officials at the China Spring Youth Camp, south of Gardnerville, are making plans to expand with a $172,000 loan from Douglas County.

The loan, approved Oct. 21, will allow creation of design and engineering plans for what will eventually be Aurora Pines, a facility for delinquent girls. The 1999 Legislature approved $2.8 million for the project, but the money won't become available until July 2000.

"(The loan) means we can start working now, not on construction or breaking ground, but on a lot of the things like design and engineering," said camp director Steve Thaler. "We'll probably spend the next six to eight months designing and engineering it."

Contracts for those services were approved with the loan. Lumos and Associates, Inc., a Carson City firm, will be paid $84,000 and Gardnerville architect Robert Oxoby will be paid $248,000 for design work. Both have worked on previous camp projects.

Thaler said the contracts are slightly less than expected - the design work was budgeted to take 10 percent of the project budget, or $280,000. The county will be repaid when the state money becomes available.

The camp currently houses delinquent boys from around the state. About 40 boys are there at any time, despite a dorm that was originally designed to hold 20.

The camp is considered a mid-level facility, with a focus on teaching personal responsibility and decision making.

The state has no similar facility for girls, but Aurora Pines is expected to fill that void. When the facility was first proposed, Thaler estimated it would serve about 80 girls a year in stints of 45 to 90 days.

The $2.8 million is to build a new 40-bed dorm for the boys, add a 24-bed dorm for the girls, convert the existing boys dorm into a school for girls, construct an administration building and revamp the camp's septic system. The camps would share the existing kitchen and gymnasium facilities.


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