The Carson City School District is embarking on the next phase in its project to renovate the city’s schools.
“We’re excited for these changes as Carson City grows and the education process evolves,” said CCSD Superintendent Richard Stokes. “It will help us better serve our students and the community.”
It started in 2010 when voters approved a 10-year rollover bond to enable the school district to remove and replace portable classrooms.
Initial work was completed in 2012 when about $13 million was spent to get rid of 22 portable classrooms at Empire Elementary School and another six at Eagle Valley Middle School.
Then in 2015 the Nevada Legislature passed legislation allowing the state’s schools to continue issuing bonds for school construction for another 10 years.
Early this year, CCSD raised $16 million and is now in the midst of several projects.
The major work will be at Mark Twain and Fremont elementary schools, which have similar footprints and were both designed by Van Woert Bigotti Architects in Reno, which also is designing the additions.
“Mark Twain and Fremont are in the conceptual stage. We met with principals and vice principals and we’re moving forward with the request for proposal,” which should be published next week, said Mark Korinek, director of operations for the school district.
Korinek said Van Woert Bigotti’s design is 20 percent complete and it will be working with construction manager at risk to complete it.
The design will connect three wings on the back of each school, adding a long common hallway and classrooms.
At Mark Twain about 6,500 square feet of portable classrooms will be replaced and about 3,500 square feet for kindergarten and pre-k space added, for a total of 10,000 square feet.
Fremont has no portable classrooms, but the additional space is expected to absorb new students.
“Fremont is expected to show growth,” said Stokes.
Just blocks away is the Lompa Ranch development, where Ryder Homes has been approved to build 189 single-family homes and has plans also to build 350 apartments.
Korinek expects construction to start early next summer and take nine months to a year to complete.
The Fremont build out will add space for Elementary Career Life Skills classes, which will take students from Seeliger Elementary School. The space freed up there will be remodeled and the kindergarten classrooms upgraded.
Bordewich-Bray Elementary School also will get a portable classroom removed and remodeling upgrades.
But first up are projects at Pioneer High School and at Fritsch Elementary School.
In June, the Planning Commission approved a special use permit for CCSD to build three additions at Fritsch totaling 3,061 square feet, expanding the school to 57,376 square feet, to connect two buildings so students can move between them without going outside.
In July, the commission approved a permit to build an addition to attach two existing buildings and remove four portable classrooms.
Mark Johnson, project manager, said the expansion at Pioneer will be roughly 14,000 square feet or less, depending on the budget, and will add four classrooms, a kitchen, serving area and library.
The first phase of the Pioneer project will be tenant improvements to house the Carson Online Program while the second phase will be the expansion.
The projects are expected to break ground in late September and the school promises it won’t disrupt school schedules, student safety, or drop off and pick up procedures for parents.
“We’ll work closely with our construction manager and operating in the safest manner possible,” said Korinek.
When all the work is done then CCSD may be facing construction of a new elementary school in five years or so, said Stokes.
“We’ll continue to meet with the master plan committee and continue to monitor growth and the impact growth is having on schools,” said Stokes. “We’ll take the next step in school construction when the timing is right.”