Carson High school board discusses phase 2 of bond projects
A remodel of the Carson City School District’s alternative high school and a new performance hall at Carson High would be the highlights of the second phase of the district’s voter-approved bond, project manager Keith Shaffer told trustees at Tuesday’s board meeting.However, given incidents such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, some trustees expressed concern that school safety should take precedence. They opted to table the issue.“We want to move forward with the assurance security is a priority,” said school board clerk Ron Swirckzek.The remodel and performance hall are part of a 10-year rollover bond approved by voters in 2010 to be divided into three phases.In the first phase, most schools in the district received some improvements, such as heating and lighting upgrades, improved access for the physically impaired and heightened security. The bulk of the $25 million, however, went to remodels at Empire Elementary School and Eagle Valley Middle School. Some of that remodeling work is still being completed, including the addition of secure entrances at Mark Twain and Seeliger elementary schools.In light of the recent school shootings, the district added creating secure entrances at Bordewich-Bray and Fritsch elementary schools to the plan, Shaffer said.Trustee Laurel Crossman suggested that perhaps the second, $10 million phase — which had been pledged to voters to enhance career and technical education — should be redirected.“In light of recent events, maybe the issue of security is more of a priority,” she said.Tony Turley, finance director for the school district, said the bond was sold at a good premium, leaving $600,000 to implement the additional safety measures.“That’s what we were looking at to fund them without impacting phase 2,” he said.District officials created a conceptual plan for the second phase with the help of the bond oversight committee, made up of architects, engineers, principals and others in the community.The largest project would be a 22,000-square-foot addition to Pioneer High School, adding a cafeteria, library, four classrooms, administration offices and a common area. It is expected to cost $7 million.The addition would eliminate the need for the portable buildings on the campus, creating one, unified school.“That’s been a goal all along, to get rid of the portables,” Shaffer said. “That’s the direction we want to go.”The remaining $3 million would go to improving career and technical education at Carson High School, including a 10,000-square-foot performance arts area expected to cost $2.5 million.The remainder would be spent on improvements to existing programs, including welding, auto-body, auto-tech, photo and culinary. It also would create space for emerging programs, such as agricultural science, health occupations and engineering.The third phase of the bond is designated to upgrade technology throughout the district.