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Middle school plans move forward

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

Plans are moving forward for the new Truckee Middle School, which is part of the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District’s facilities master plan to absorb increased enrollment and Truckee’s growth.

“The main point of bringing the project to the board is to get approval to move forward with schematic design,” TTUSD Facilities Director John Britto.

The new middle school will be the biggest facilities project to come out of the Measure C Bond, which was passed by Truckee voters in March 1999. Students attending Sierra Mountain Middle School will move to the new middle school, and SMMS will be used as a third elementary school in Truckee.

The proposed site for the new middle school is located on undeveloped land between Alder Drive and Highway 89. The school district is currently in the process of completing the environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, which is required prior to obtaining ownership of the property.

Britto said he is confident a purchase agreement will be finalized in the near future.

Truckee Middle School, which has a target budget of $24 million, will be designed to hold approximately 1,000 students with a faculty of 50 teachers and 20 other staff members.

The first phase of the project is anticipated to be 81,000 square feet with classroom space to house 800 students. Other components of the first phase of the construction include: three classroom pods (one per grade level), a commons area, administration facilities, a multimedia center/library, music teaching stations, and a gymnasium area.

The facility will be phased over time as student enrollment increases, Britto said.

Key issues the New Truckee Middle School Education Specification Committee identified for the campus include:

– Alder Road access at two locations

– Orientation of building, play fields and parking on site to minimize environmental, weather and neighborhood impacts

– Developing a phasing plan which will satisfy initial budget constraints while planning for long-term growth needs

– Adequate parking and student drop-off which is segregated from the bus drop-off area

– Maximize environmental advantages

– Adequate snow storage

– Provide state of the art systems for communications and educational technology

– Access to community and recreational facilities without need to access main campus

– Adequate parking and recreational expansion in Phase II

– Accommodate team teaching concept

Britto said grading and utility work on the project is expected to begin in June 2001 if the project moves ahead as planned. Construction would start as early as possible in 2002, with the goal of being completed in fall 2003 for the beginning of the 2003-04 school year.

“The schedule we think is pretty good right now, but be won’t be sure until the CEQA review is behind us,” he said.


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