Carson City School District Board President Richard Varner, left, Trustee Lupe Ramirez, Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell, Trustee Laurel Crossman, Trustee Stacie Wilke-McCulloch, former district superintendent Richard Stokes, Superintendent Andrew Feuling, director of operations services Mark Korinek and Eagle Valley Middle School Principal Lee Conley cut the ribbon Friday to celebrate the completion of the Eagle Valley Middle School building. Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal
Photo by Jessica Garcia.
Liam Marler, starting the eighth grade on Aug. 15, explored STEM teacher Katelyn OLoughlin’s classroom, already neatly decorated with its colored baskets, plants, science posters and a human skeleton in the corner.
Eagle Valley Middle School expansion
Carson City School District’s administrators, trustees and construction manager CORE Construction on Aug. 5 celebrated the completion of an expansion project enlarging Eagle Valley Middle School's educational facilities to help balance out the total needs of the city’s burgeoning student population between its two middle schools.
“I’ll be in this classroom this year,” he said.
He’s anxious to return to school in Eagle Valley Middle School’s brand new facility with its open panels and whiteboard walls that students can write on nearly everywhere and wipe off with ease. Liam’s sister, Lillian, considered the artistic one of the family, will begin the sixth grade at Eagle Valley and is anticipating what it will be like to have multiple teachers, Theresa Marler, their mother, said.
“I love the opportunities (this building’s) going to bring to these kids, and I love the excitement in my own kids,” said Theresa Marler, who went to Empire Elementary School when it opened in 1985 and Eagle Valley, which opened in 1987. “Kids have so many different ways to learn, and I love that this new build is really going to hone in on their gifts.”
Lillian and Liam Marler, who are starting the sixth and eighth grade at Eagle Valley Middle School on Aug. 15, play rock, paper, scissors as they tour the school’s new building during the Carson City School District’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. Jessica Garcia/Nevada AppealCarson City School District’s administrators, trustees and construction manager CORE Construction celebrated the completion of a three-year expansion project enlarging Eagle Valley’s educational facilities to help balance out the total needs of the city’s burgeoning student population between its two middle schools. The new building, now providing the campus 12 additional classrooms, two STEM labs, workroom and office space, storage areas, restrooms and outdoor areas such as an amphitheater, officially broke ground in June 2021. The school is considered one of CCSD’s most efficient and technologically advanced in the area.
Staff members, students and families are excited about the learning opportunities and teaching reprieve it will bring for the 2022-23 school year and beyond.
Superintendent Andrew Feuling recalled Carson City’s growing pains in the mid-2010s when Carson Middle School’s population was overcrowded to the point “the walls were moving” because the campus contained so many students that the district had to decide how to physically and instructionally offer more for families. The school went from about 1,000 students to 1,150 to 1,300 within two years, he said.
Carson City School Superintendent Andrew Feuling addresses guests at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating Eagle Valley Middle School’s new building. Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal“I think we’re in a much better place now knowing that every student that comes through here, whichever school they end up going to for middle school, they’re going to have great opportunities in those three years that they are present there,” Feuling told the crowd before the ribbon-cutting. “To me, that’s the biggest thing for our kids and our community.”
Director of operations services Mark Korinek, who has overseen the project since its inception, said the building is Carson City’s largest capital expansion and its only two-story project within the past 15 years. Whatever challenges the project seemingly faced in its early phases ultimately worked out for the best, he told the Appeal.
“I’m happy with the whole process of building this school and as far as efficiency, there’s a lot of nice passive solar design to it with the glass,” he said. “We’ve increased the size of the HVAC system so it’s comfortable. And I think the teachers will find that, too. And they always have a pathway to us. There are some new teachers that came to us from other school districts, and they’re real impressed with it.”
A crowd gathers to celebrate Eagle Valley Middle School’s new building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. Jessica Garcia/Nevada AppealHe thanked CORE Construction and architects Brad Van Woert and Angela Bigotti for their planning input. Plans initially to place the building north on the campus changed to put it south where it now sits, and it provides students an opportunity to see the valley in a way they’ve never seen before, Conley said in addressing the speakers, and Korinek said that provides some opportunities for community partners to engage with students and provide presentations.
Van Woert and Bigotti, who have worked for more than 30 years, called Eagle Valley a “stellar project,” thanking the engineers and contractors they worked with from Manhard Consulting, Ltd., CORE and the interior designers they worked with to implement the structure’s special features.
Local architects Brad Van Woert and Angela Bigotti provide comments during Friday’s ceremony at Eagle Valley Middle School. Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal“On the inside, we did a learning corridor in there so all spaces are interactive for teaching and learning, and in the end, we want to make sure that what we’re doing is contributing to a learning environment that’s worth being in, that the students are excited to be in, that the teachers are excited to be here to teach and that ultimately there’s a lot of school pride in the building itself,” Bigotti said.
CORE also interacted with staff and students, providing tours and opportunities to learn about the process on site along the way, and Korinek said he appreciated the company’s willingness to do so.
“(The students) learned in a construction project last year for a whole year, and we were doing construction here,” Korinek said. “I loved working with them, and the patience they showed was fantastic, and the students got to see how this works, thanks to the tours CORE gave them.”
Conley took visitors on the site on tours of the building as some noted Eagle Valley’s exterior views of its valley.
Dr. Conley, center, provides a tour of his school’s new building for Carson City School Board president Richard Varner and Mayor Lori Bagwell. Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal“I don’t think I’d pay attention,” Trustee Stacie Wilke-McCulloch said of the opportunity to glimpse the scenic landscapes. “It was quite the project we had, and with the fault line added to that? I think all in all, it was really a good project. It enhances the education here in Carson. It makes us more equal. We’ve been blessed. The construction people did a great job. A lot of construction projects now are going way over. It’s beautiful. I’m glad that the board and the superintendent had the vision to do this.”
Former superintendent Richard Stokes, who oversaw the majority of the project’s undertakings until he retired from the district in June, was invited to the ceremony and took part in the ribbon-cutting.
Feuling told the Appeal he looked forward to the families getting to see the school as school starts up this month.
“It is incredibly exciting to see the outcome of this project and to know what our students here at Eagle Valley will have available to them with amazing new classrooms and new STEM labs,” he said. “It will be an eye-opener not only for them but for the parents when they get to see it.”
Eagle Valley Middle School’s new classrooms feature whiteboard walls for students to clean easily any time they want. Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal