Community gives input on future college campus | SierraSun.com

Community gives input on future college campus

Renee Shadforth
Sierra Sun
Photo by Renee Shadforth/Sierra SunTruckee Councilman Richard Anderson and Beth Christman, of the Truckee River Watershed Council, study an elevation model of the future Sierra College Campus in Truckee.
ALL |

From excavation of dirt to campus clubs, locals gave input Monday on what they want for Truckee’s future community college campus.

Area residents and Sierra College District officials gathered at Truckee Town Hall to shape the future of the future junior college campus, which will be built on top of McIver Hill. In the first of three meetings, the group gave input on academic programs, campus design and site planning.

“You have a unique opportunity to plan a college for the community …” Dave Ferrari, local representative on the Sierra College board, said to attendees. “While we can’t do everything in this phase, we can plan everything.”

College officials anticipate there will be three phases to the campus, spanning over at least 20 years. Funds from Measure H, a school facilities bond passed by nearly 70 percent of local voters in November 2004, will pay for the first phase of the campus.

Though voters were told half of the 73-acre parcel would be dedicated to open space, the final deal between Sierra College officials and the Truckee Donner Land Trust split the land at 40 acres for the college and 33 for the land trust. However, not all of the 40 acres will likely be developed, said college officials.

The parameters for the first phase were presented by consultants from Sacramento-based Lionakis Beaumont Design Group ” who have been hired by Sierra College to design the campus. The building must include core facilities, like administrative offices and a library; it must be flexible for future phases and academic programs; and it must have a sustainable design, in that it must be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, told the design consultants that he wants the new campus to fit in with Truckee ” not mountain towns like Vail or Aspen.

“I think you need to look at downtown [Truckee]. I think you need to look at West River Street to get an idea for this campus,” he said.

Eaton said he also had concerns about access to the campus, which is limited by Union Pacific Railroad and Caltrans property. The access road has been tentatively set to connect to Highway 89 south, but college officials are still waiting for an environmental impact report to decide where the driveway will be built.

Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said he would like the campus to function as an extension of downtown Truckee.

“I would just emphasize the need to look at pedestrian and bike access, especially in the east,” Lashbrook told the consultants from Lionakis Beaumont.

College officials plan to start on-site utility work and construct parking and building pads between May and October 2006. Building construction in scheduled to begin May 2007.