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College asks voters to fund Truckee campus

Renee Shadforth

Higher learning may get another meaning, with the prospect of Sierra College building a permanent location atop McIver Hill in Truckee.

The Truckee community, along with the rest of the Sierra Joint Community College District, will be asked to pass a bond measure on March 2 to pay for district improvements. If passed, the measure will allot approximately $394 million to district-wide improvements, $19 million of which would go toward building a Truckee campus.

“We’re ready for our own college,” said Dave Ferrari, Area 2 trustee and Sierra College board chairman, at a community meeting at the Wagon Train Coffee Shop last week.

If the measure passes with at least a 55 percent majority, homeowners in the district will pay a maximum of $19 per $100,000 assessed value for the bond.

The Truckee meeting included a PowerPoint presentation, in which college President Kevin Ramirez presented photos of Sierra College’s dilapidated campuses and the college’s vision for the future.

Part of that vision includes a 35,000-square-foot, 10-classroom facility on McIver Hill. Although Sierra College has not secured a land purchase, Ramirez said the college has a deposit on the site until Jan. 5.

The proposed campus will be owned by the district and operate joint use agreements with various community agencies.

The bond measure campaign has faced some opposition from a small group of students and college employees, who are asking the community to reject the bond unless Sierra College apologizes for a recent column in the school newspaper, Sierra College Outlook.

They say supporting the bond would be an endorsement of the college’s leniency with opinion writer Nicholas Louis, who stated in his column that women at the Rocklin campus are not “hot” and described them as superficial and motivated by popular styles and trends.

The column has attracted nationwide attention. A production crew from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is scheduled to visit the newspaper today.

There are five Sierra College campuses serving Nevada, Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento counties, with the main campus in Rocklin. Sierra College offers transfer curriculum, associate degrees, certificate programs, workforce preparation and an emeritus college. There are 38,500 students currently enrolled in Sierra College’s programs, and district expects another 10,000 by 2015.

– David Mirhadi from The Union newspaper in Grass Valley contributed to this article.


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