Western Nevada College in midst of drafting master plan

Western Nevada College is in the midst of redoing both its strategic and master plans and is seeking community input about the school’s future.

That future could include the campus’s first dormitory, additional parking and transforming the Joe Dini, Jr. Library and Student Center into a learning hub.

It also may include the Carson Montessori School, which is in preliminary discussions with the college to lease about five acres of land north of campus and Combs Canyon Road, according to Mark Ghan, WNC’s acting president.

In July, the Carson City Board of Supervisors gave the Montessori school a reprieve, approving a two-year special use permit so it could stay at its current location in an industrial area while it looks for a new location.

“We would love to partner with them for the advancement of education in Carson City,” said Jessica Daniels, Montessori school director and principal, after a public meeting to discuss WNC’s plans. “We already serve as a lab school for the child development center and the teachers education (program).”

If it were to work out, said Ghan, the college might relocate its child development center, which is now in the middle of campus north of the library, and put it next door to the Montessori school.

The future may also include a roundabout at Ormsby Boulevard and College Parkway, a busy intersection that leads to the campus, which would be installed by the city.

About 20 people, split evenly between WNC staff and the public, attended the meeting Tuesday evening hosted by the college in the Carson City Community Center’s Bonanza Room.

Kim Desroches, WNC professor of history, led a discussion on redrafting the college’s mission statement. Steve Noll, with WNC consultant Design Workshop, outlined ideas for the master plan, which participants voted on electronically.

When asked what people thought was important for the campus, 30 percent said turning the library into a learning hub while student housing, a performing arts center, and a student center each received 20 percent.

Upgrading technology and expanding educational programming garnered the most votes for needed improvements while cultural events and lectures attracted the most votes for what people would like to see on campus.

When asked for other feedback, several people said they want to ensure that WNC remains accessible to the community, including the trail system that crosses the campus.

WNC will continue to take public feedback online and at meetings in Fallon and other WNC locations, said Ghan.

The goal is to take the master plan, which affects the Carson City campus only and has not been updated since 2001, to the Board of Regents for approval in March. The strategic plan, which affects all WNC locations, will go to the board for approval in a year, said Ghan.


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