Changes await Carson students, parents with new school year set to begin

Shannon Litz / Nevada AppealEagle Valley Middle School students and parents check out P.E. uniforms during back to school boot camp on Thursday.

Shannon Litz / Nevada AppealEagle Valley Middle School students and parents check out P.E. uniforms during back to school boot camp on Thursday.

While the remodeling of Eagle Valley Middle and Empire Elementary schools are the largest of the bond projects, every school in the district will receive some improvements, said Keith Shaffer, project manager for the Carson City School District.

"Every school will get a part of the bond at about $1.5 million, more or less," he said.

At some sites, that means parents will need to adapt to changes in the system of picking up and dropping off their children when school resumes session Monday.

Similar to the revision in traffic flow at Fremont Elementary School, the system will change at Seeliger Elementary School as well, with the kindergarten having its own driveway.

"We've improved and lengthened the pick-up ability," he said.

Shaffer said the average wait time to pick up a student dropped from 25 minutes at Fremont Elementary to about nine minutes. He expects similar results at Seeliger Elementary School.

The school is also receiving a 3,000 square-foot addition, which will include a new, more secure entrance.

"It will have a secure entrance where people will have to go by the office to get into the school," Shaffer said.

However, that addition will not be complete until Christmas break, Shaffer said. Until then, a temporary entrance south of the front doors will be used.

The 10-year rollover bond was approved by voters in the 2010 election and is be divided into three phases.

In the first phase, every school in the district will receive improvements - such things as heating and lighting upgrades, improved access for the disabled, and heightened security. It will cost $25 million, with Empire and Eagle Valley accounting for $14 million of that.

The second phase will cost $10 million and is expected to address needs at Pioneer High School and in career and technical arts at Carson High School.

The third phase of the bond will be designated to upgrade technology throughout the district.

Students at Empire Elementary School will return to two new wings that will house the fourth- and fifth-grades.

The nearly 25,000 additional square feet will eliminate the need for the portable classrooms being used there.

The front office will also be more accessible to visitors.

At Eagle Valley Middle School, plans include a new gymnasium to seat about 750.

The entrance to the school will shift to the addition, and pick-up and drop-off lanes will be extended with more parking along the way.

From the outside, the school already seems transformed.

"It looks like a whole different school," said Jessica Camelon, 12, who will be entering the seventh grade. "I'm excited to see what the rest of it looks like."

Jessica Preston, 12, whose mom is a teacher at the middle school, has already had a sneak peek.

"It's interesting," she said. "Very interesting. Everything is bigger and the new carpet looks nice. I think the school really needed it."

An addition with a new weight room and wrestling gym is also complete at Carson High School. Renovations at Bordewich-Bray, Mark Twain and Fritsch elementary schools will begin next summer.


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