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Bond projects up against deadline

by Teri Vance

With barely a week of construction time left for bond improvements, Carson City school officials are hopeful classrooms will be ready by the time students return.

“I’m a nervous owner, but we’ve hired the right people,” said Director of Operations Mike Mitchell. “They’ve made it work under similar circumstances.”

Mitchell said he has confidence in the construction manager, Q & D Construction, which has completed various projects for Washoe County School District, the Washoe County Courthouse and the Legislative Building in Carson City.

“They were all done under incredible time frames and considerable constraints,” Mitchell said. “That’s why we hired them.”

Mitchell will discuss the deadline with other school officials and trustees at tonight’s school board meeting to try to ease any worries.

“We’re on schedule but the schedule was so tight that everybody’s nervous,” he said.

With a later start-date than originally planned and a short time period to work with, construction superintendent Jeff Sepahpour is confident the classroom work will be finished by the time school starts Aug. 28 and 29.

“We’re doing just fine,” he said. “It’s going to run right up to the date it was supposed to.”

The projects are part of an $18-million school bond passed in the 2000 election to improve safety and replace outdated systems in Carson City schools. The first phase of the projects – such as new air-conditioning units, windows and lock and phone systems – was scheduled to be completed this summer.

Mitchell expects the construction on the 130 classrooms across the district to be finished by Aug. 21 so custodians and teachers can have a week to get them ready.

But that’s cutting it close.

“They’re working hard to meet the deadline and I have a lot of faith in them – it’s just testing my faith at the time,” Mitchell said. “Every day it’s looking better, but we only have eight days left.”

Other projects outside of the classroom which will not disrupt learning will continue into the school year.

What: Carson City School Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Sierra Room of Carson City Community Center