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School bond passage, superintendent search on district agenda

SHERRY MAYS

The Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District is not showing any signs of slowing down as the 1997-98 year enters its second half.

With teacher salary negotiations still unresolved, two other major issues remain on the horizon for the district – passing the Measure B bond and finding a new superintendent.

Before the replacement of the superintendent will be close to finalization, the district’s efforts are focused on the April 14 Measure B election.

Measure B – “Building Better Schools” – is a $35 million bond for the Truckee side schools, aimed at acquiring school sites, expanding core facilities and increasing the schools’ technological resources.

The bond would be used to:

— Build a new middle school for 1,000 students.

— Convert Sierra Mountain Middle School into an elementary school.

— Build a performing arts/gymnasium at Truckee High School.

— Bring technology into all schools and expand existing media centers.

— Improve and enlarge the high school cafeteria.

— Improve maintenance of existing schools, such as replacing worn out roofs.

— Upgrade electrical and other systems.

— Upgrade and install security and lighting within schools.

— Replace deteriorating plumbing, heating and ventilation systems.

The district’s attendance has been growing at an average of 5 percent per year since 1988 and some schools have hit and exceeded their required capacities.

Truckee Elementary School is at 166 percent capacity, Glenshire Elementary School is at 138 percent and Sierra Mountain Middle School is at 152 percent.

TTUSD Superintendent Vince Deveney said what were considered long-term consequences before are now short-term consequences.

“We have been trying to answer the overcrowding problem with relocatables,” he said. “Expanding core facilities and building a new middle school are the best options now.”

The installation of the relocatables have

resulted in a “Catch-22 situation.” Although students are no longer crammed into classrooms, they are now crammed together on smaller playgrounds. Some teachers fear more relocatables will make outdoor play areas disappear all together.

The 64 relocatables in use at the Truckee schools are equivalent in capacityto three small schools or two larger schools.

The bond issue requires a two-thirds majority vote for its passage because of Proposition 218, the law requiring more than a simple majority vote.

“If and when the bond is passed, there will be a citizen advisory panel established to discuss the district’s priorities,” Deveney said.

The $35 million bond will exist for 25 years and will cost each property owner about $40 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year.

Deveney, who recently announced his plans for a June retirement, said the efforts to find his replacement are well under way.

“We know we don’t have much time to find a new superintendent,” he said. “The process must move quickly.”

Last Monday, the district hired Keith Daniels with the California School Board Association as the consultant to help with the replacement search. Meetings with district teachers and the community are scheduled beginning the end of this month.

— March 31 – Daniels is scheduled to visit with the Truckee school sites for teacher and administration input from 9 a.m. to the end of the school day. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a meeting to establish a community advisory panel to help in addressing the district’s needs regarding the new superintendent.

— April 1 – Daniels is scheduled to meet with the lakeside schools’ staffs for input.

— April 2 – From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Daniels will be accepting community input at the TTUSD office on Donner Pass Road. Appointments are available and walk-ins are acceptable.

“There will be plenty of time for community input,” Deveney said. “We hope the community gets involved.”

CSBA was the consulting firm which recommended Deveney for the superintendent position in 1993.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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