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Sierra College looks to future

Truckee and North Tahoe residents have proven they want a Sierra College campus in Truckee.After Measure E failed in the college’s four-county district in March, Measure H, a local school facilities improvement district, passed with nearly 70 percent approval on Election Day.”We’ve taken a couple days to take in the victory,” said Frank DeCourten, dean of the Truckee campus. “Now all of us have the revenue stream to complete our dreams, to have a college campus in Truckee.”The measure will not only bring a permanent Sierra College campus to Truckee – currently the school rents space in the Pioneer Commerce Center – it will also ensure that the Truckee Donner Land Trust will buy roughly 50 percent of the land and protect it as open space.With the $35 million bond measure, Sierra College will purchase a 72-acre parcel on McIver Hill for a 40,000-square-foot permanent campus. Property owners will pay between $15 and $16 per $100,000 assessed value on their homes over approximately 25 years. The college mounted a $50,000 campaign to pass the measure, which faced some dissent from the local community and the Nevada County Republican Party for the extra tax burden it will cause.DeCourten expects the planning process for the campus to take most of 2005. This will include workshops and gathering community input on the design of the campus and the program at the Sierra College Truckee campus.There will be a Measure H Citizens Oversight Committee, compiled of community stakeholders, forming before the first of the year.The campus is projected to open in fall 2008, but DeCourten’s money is on an earlier date.”I think if we work hard on this, we may be able to come in a little sooner with a campus,” he said.


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