Bond projects completed

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Children play on the newly remodeled playground at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Children play on the newly remodeled playground at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

Three generations of principals joined in a celebration to honor the completion of improvements made to Bordewich-Bray Elementary School on Thursday.

During a noontime ceremony on the playground, Principal Sue Keema greeted guests while former principals Mel Cowperthwaite and Kirk Kinne reminisced.

"Remember the old gym, how lovely it was," Cowperthwaite jested, referring to an old barracks brought down from Stead.

Cowperthwaite, known as Mr. C to his students, began teaching there in 1949, when it was still a high school with 640 students. He later served as principal from 1970-1982, after it became an elementary school.

He also coached Kinne's Little League Baseball team.

Kinne attended the high school there and took over as principal in 1983 and continued in that role until he retired in 2001.

Sitting in newly planted grass on a newly expanded playground, complete with new equipment, Kinne took note of the changes.

"This is a dream come true," he said. "I went to school here years and years ago and I was lucky enough to be principal. This school will always be a part of me."

Funded through a $3.75 million bond approved in the 2002 election, the improvements included an addition to the main schoolhouse, consolidating the seven-building campus into one building.

"You don't have to walk all the way across the playground to get to the other building," said Alexandra Schlager, 10.

"And you don't have to go across the street for music," Brenda Ashland, 11, added.

The ceremony marked the completion of the Bordewich-Bray improvements as well as the districtwide maintenance projects outlined in the $18 million bond passed in 2000.

"We started selling the 2000 bond in 1998," remarked Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the Carson City School District. "We're now in 2004. It's been a six-year effort to finally see this completed."

The $18 million bond paid for structural improvements such as air conditioning, plumbing updates and repairing asphalt at schools throughout the district.

In addition to the Bordewich-Bray Elementary School improvements, the $3.75 million bond also provided the transfer of professional-development headquarters and the Educator's Closet to the Gleason Complex.

Local construction companies, Q&D Construction of Reno and Miles Bros. Construction of Carson City, served as construction managers on the projects. Sheehan, Van Woert and Bigotti architectural firm of Reno served as the architect.

But of all the improvements made, Mitchell said updating Bordewich-Bray into a safer, more efficient school, is what he is most proud of.

"It's kind of the crowning glory to us out of all the stuff we've worked on," he said.

Contact Teri Vance at or at 881-1272.


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