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Summertime not down time at WNC

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer
Amy Lisenbe/Nevada Appeal
ALL |

There’s no such thing as a summer break at Western Nevada College, as the school’s “off” season sparked an enrollment of more than 900 students, a pair of new shows in the school’s art galleries, programs and classes specifically for children – and even a large construction project to navigate.

“All in a day’s work,” said Anne Hansen, the school’s director of information and marketing services. “It really does keep going. We’re all here at our stations; even the academic faculty comes in quite frequently.

Here’s a rundown (by month) on some of the highlights at WNC this summer:

June

Summer school kicks off Monday – those looking to bolster their academic acumen over the summer months can register through Friday.

Summer sessions at WNC also include an array of “fun” classes, Hansen said.

Courses in art, ballroom dance and video production are available. One of the more popular courses for registrants thus far is the summer school geology trip to the Grand Tetons (June 23 to 27) and Yellowstone National Park, Hansen said.

Students about to attend four-year colleges and universities in the fall can get a head start with their pre-reqs this summer, she said.

“A lot of students can pick up a course or two here over the summer,” Hansen said. “It saves time and money and helps keep them in that learning groove – especially when gearing up for school in the fall.”

Courses run through Aug. 2, though several sessions are shorter.

“Most of our students enrolled so far are taking six or (fewer) credits,” Hansen said.

Some 85 summer classes, including web-based classes and programs for children are described at http://www.wnc.edu.

Out of the classroom, the school will host the North/South Nevada high school all-star baseball game Saturday, June 14.

July

The traveling geology lesson continues as one class will travel to the Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California. Students will meet beginning Friday and will conclude the course with a weekend trip on July 26.

“Any student interested in any aspect of natural science will get a lot out of this class,” said geology teacher David Bell. “(Students) will learn about unique volcanic formations and incredible landscapes.

“We will also have a chance to look at petroglyphs and quite a bit of history from the 1900s and prehistory.”

July will also see continued changes to the campus infrastructure – namely the Bristlecone building, officials said.

“As the summer goes on, people may find some of the entrances to the college blocked,” Hansen said. “A remodel is going on to comply with (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.

“The bottom line is, when the building was built in the ’70s the ramps and lifts (used) today were not being used.”

The east and south side entrances will be open during the summer handicapped parking is available on the west of the Aspen building, outside the Reynolds center and east and south of the Cedar building during construction.

“A lot of the entrances are closed for the summer for repairs while they’re not as many students here,” Hansen said. “The other thing that’s going on that’s quite noteworthy is a major safety renovation to the Bristlecone building.”

Hansen said a complete renovation project for the building and its surrounding grounds was originally slated to cost between $10 to $12 million. Budget cuts, however, have forced the project to be scaled down to a $3 to $4 million upgrade.

“The good news is because of the changing economic times we did have a lot of bidders for the project,” Hansen said. “We think we’re going to have some good work done by Aug. 25 – well-worth the inconvenience during the summer.”

August

Summer session will wrap at WNC with a “landmark” event, Hansen said.

Officials from the Douglas campus are working with members of the Washoe Tribe to host its first ever powwow Aug. 2 and 3.

“It’s going to be one of our (school’s) best activities this summer,” Hansen said. “A collaboration (with the tribe) we hope to continue.”

Running art exhibits including “Vantage Points” will show now through the end of August at the Bristlecone Building’s Atrium Gallery.

“Most of the photos (for “Vantage Points”) were taken by Dr. John Lagios, a Carson City neurologist,” said English professor Marilee Swirczek. “We think this is a neat collaboration of the photographer, the creative writer and the audience.”

Adjacent to the Atrium Gallery, artist Naomi Nickerson’s contemporary paintings are don display throughout the summer.

“I want the viewer to be constantly aware of my hand and the edges and surface of the painting,” said Nickerson, a part-time art instructor at WNC. “I feel organic edges offer a new, contemporary dialogue with paintings.”

The newest group of residents who hope to one day be sworn in to protect and serve will also graduate WNC’s 30-week, 33.5-credit program in August.

The academy, which begins each January and meets all Nevada and POST certification requirements, is wrapping up its summer session with advanced training – including driving.

“They’re out in the parking lot today,” Hansen said. “It’s a wonderful program – and just a little taste of the diverse offerings we have.”