Silver City schoolhouse begins to rise from ashes |

Silver City schoolhouse begins to rise from ashes

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal A construction worker for Building Solutions LLC moves lumber to the new Silver City Schoolhouse. The walls of the reconstructed schoolhouse were erected on Monday, marking the first signs of the return of the building that burned down in 2004.

Like the proverbial phoenix, the Silver City schoolhouse is beginning to rise from the ashes of the fire that destroyed it three years ago.

Erich Obermayr, Silver City Town Board chairman, said as soon as the sides of the building went up, so did residents’ hopes.

“Everyone is really happy to see it happen,” he said. “When they first started raising the walls, what they did was they built the walls lying down and then got a crane to lift them, everyone in town was out there taking pictures. When you’re doing the framing, the progress really shows.”

Jeff Francovich, construction manager for Building Solutions LLC, said the work should be done by the first part of December.

“As far as I know we’re on schedule,” he said. “We’re putting the trusses on the roof and the framing should be complete by the end of the month.”

Building Solutions LLC had the low bid of $763,078 for the project, which was accepted by the Lyon County commissioners in February.

Francovich said there haven’t been any change orders and expected the cost to be at or close to the bid.

The original schoolhouse was built in 1867 and served as the town’s school until 1958. It later became Silver City’s community center, until a fire – believed to have been sparked by county employees using welding torches to install air conditioning – destroyed it July 7, 2004.

Disputes with the county’s third-party insurance carrier, Lloyd’s of London, and their representatives, Alternative Service Concepts of Sparks, led to long delays in the rebuilding process. County commissioners in October decided to use surplus building maintenance funds to rebuild the building.

Obermayr said the first official event request for the building is the Democratic presidential caucus on Jan. 19, 2008.

“I think it would be fun to have both parties’ caucuses,” he said. “But I haven’t talked to any of the Republican folks in town yet.”

Of course, he said, that would be preceded by a grand opening and dedication of the building, but a date can’t be set until building is further along.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.