The Popcorn Stand: Time to move on
The Washoe County School District has plans to open a new high school, Wildcreek High, in the area served by Hug High School in north Reno. Plans also call for turning the Hug site into a career and technical academy.
I don’t know anyone who argues Hug should be saved as a high school. I do understand the normal desire to “preserve” the building (and money) by converting it to a new, perhaps complementary, use. In most cases, that would be a worthy argument.
But what if the site, the building — even the very essence of the location — cannot be salvaged?
I attended high school in Reno (not Hug) when Reno was still small enough that we had friends at all of the high schools. During that time, Hug was a fully-functioning school.
That is not the case now. And I would suggest that, much like the failed housing projects of decades past, the overall history of Hug High School has left the site — not just the school, but the actual location — so toxic in the minds of many that it is not worth attempting to repurpose the building. Or the property.
That is not an indictment of the district, Hug staff, students and parents. There are myriad reasons Hug has become what it is. Why one high school is successful while another mere miles away is a failure often has little connection with the people who use the building.
In the long run, the school district may best serve everyone by destroying the structure and selling the land. Be rid of it. Let someone else have a shot at making something positive there.
— Rick Hoover