Carson City School District recently completed or is nearing completion of construction on three school sites before the 2019-20 year begins. Recently, district staff have updated the city’s Board of Supervisors on where progress has been made during the summer months.
Fremont and Mark Twain elementary schools
Fremont Elementary School will offer a special Career Life Skills Suite for students with special needs. The layout provides one large classroom that can be converted into three smaller classrooms for kindergarten and first grade students, second and third graders and fourth and fifth graders. The suite will accommodate children in walkers and wheelchairs and will support a changing area, shower, restroom and laundry area.
Mark Korinek, the district’s director of operations, told the Board of Supervisors at a joint meeting June 20 that as the students progress into high school, they learn how to use the basic tools to be able to make their beds, wash dishes and learn how to cook.
“We’re pretty proud of that because kids that have been at Seeliger (Elementary School), we’ll transfer them (to Fremont), and they didn’t have the best area,” he said. “So this will be much better for them.”
Overall, construction began in the winter, and because it was a wetter season this year, there were a few setbacks, with excavation going a little deeper than planned, he said. Construction fell behind but the district overall has stayed within its budget, Korinek said.
Korinek said about 13,000 square feet have been added to Mark Twain, but about 7,000 square feet have been removed in portables. Recently, four portables were removed with two that were in poor shape, Korinek said, but more classrooms were added
Though the elementary schools can accommodate up to 800 students, Korinek said Superintendent Richard Stokes prefers to keep it at 650 and anything higher can be tougher to manage, he said.
“Fremont will have a little bit of room,” he said. “Pioneer will be roughly about 300 kids … to help take a little bit of the load off Carson High.”
The cost of the two elementary schools was about $8 million, or $4 million each, from bonds issued by the district.
The architect for the projects is Van Woert Bigotti Architects in Reno.
United Construction is the contractor on both sites and work is expected to be completed on time before the start of school in August.
Carson City residents long have expressed their displeasure with the district’s use of the portables on any of the school sites, and most recently, only one portable being used as a classroom remains at Bordewich Elementary School. Any remaining structures are purposed for storage at Seeliger Elementary School, a lounge and the school-based health center at McKinney Vento.
Korinek said getting students into brick and mortar again provides a more energy-efficient solution and greater security. It’s also four times less expensive per square foot to put students and faculty in an actual building rather than a portable.
Pioneer High School
Pioneer High School’s improvements to buildings A and B were completed by Q&D Construction, with phase one costing $300,000. Phase two was completed in April and that included 10,783 square feet of expansion into the new building.
According to Pioneer High School Principal Jason Zona, the high school has made its own improvements in recent years as well as Carson Online.
Its Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) and elective curriculum now offers a broader selection to students, and the campus’ Career and Technological Education program has greater availability in its health sciences and medical assisting field, AVID and Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design.
An Innovation Center/library, cafe, biology and chemistry classrooms, Panther Hall and gym were included in the recent expansion and the new multipurpose gym is available for volleyball, yoga, basketball. A future indoor climbing wall is being planned, according to Zona.
Other recent improvements included renovations of the art and ceramics lab, JAG lab, Carson Online Computer Labs and core classrooms.
The school added a single-point entrance, updated fencing and additional cameras for security purposes.
“With all the improvements and alignment to the CCSD Strategic Plan for college and career readiness, we are excited to offer additional career path options in a small campus setting,” Zona said.
More information on Pioneer High School and Carson Online courses and scheduling is available by calling 775-283-1300 or visiting pioneer.carsoncityschools.com.