New Truckee Elementary School gym breaks ground |

New Truckee Elementary School gym breaks ground

The long-awaited Truckee Elementary School modernization project began this week, with an official groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

The major focus of the nearly $3 million modernization will be a brand new multi-purpose room for the school, expected to be complete by summer 2002.

The existing multi-purpose room at TES is used for lunch five periods a day, and lacks the facilities for many other uses.

The new multi-purpose room, which will be a total of 9,215 square feet, will include a 5,000 square foot gym, PE offices, custodial and storage spaces, a snack bar, restrooms and a stage.

Food service will remain in the existing multi-purpose room, which will also be getting a new roof as part of the project.

To facilitate after-hours use by community groups, the new gym will have an entrance lobby separate from the rest of the school.

While the project means that a large chunk of the playground at TES will be closed off for the construction work during the 2001-2002 school year, the finished product will have been worth the inconvenience, said one parent.

“Keep in mind what the end result will be,” said Marlys Zusy, a parent who is also on several committees involved with new construction in the school district. “It’s a huge improvement.”

“Kids and staff have adjusted to so many years to the current overcrowding (at the school),” she said. “They’ve all been really patient.”

A fence will be put around the construction zone to keep children from entering it.

For this year only, Truckee Elementary students will have to use a smaller play area.

“They’re going to start utilizing the front lawn, which they have not done in the past,” said Rob Koster, project manager. “

However, Koster noted that portable classrooms were in the area much of the construction is being done in up until last year.

“The reality is, it’s going to be about the same usable area as when the portable was there,” he said.

The new multi-purpose room will also provide a recreation area for students to use in inclement weather. Currently, most students have to spend recess in their classrooms in bad weather.

Other elements of the modernization project include moving the library from its present location to the east wing, and turning the existing library into a kindergarten space.

New data ports and electrical outlets will also be added to every classroom, and a new phone system will be installed.

There will also be student safety locks and hardware upgraded on the existing doors.

“Probably the biggest impact is moving the administrative area from the west end to the east end of the campus,” Koster said. The move will help centralize campus services, he said.

The majoring of the funding for the project is paid for by Measure C bond measure dollars. The new gym will use about $2.5 million, while the other modernizations will run about $500,000.

At one point, the modernization and the new gym were planned to be separate projects undertaken a year apart, but for cost efficiency, the two projects were combined into one season’s work.

The project contractor is Central Sierra Construction, Inc.

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