Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee welcomes community to events |

Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee welcomes community to events

Photo courtesy Pam McAdoo

Although it sits right in the middle of town, the new Sierra College campus on the old Hippie Hill is a hidden gem. The new facility is such a quantum leap above former facilities ” night classes at the high school and/or shoe-horned into an office building at Pioneer Center ” that faculty and staff moved in the middle of the Fall ’08 semester rather than waiting till the end of the term.

Each week, the college feels more active, energized and rooted in its new home. Students assemble in the common areas to eat, study, work, and hang out. The library’s electronic resources give access to dozens of data bases and more than 30,000 online books. Programs are humming in the mechatronics lab, the 2-D art room, and the state-of-the-art Mac and PC labs. Class projects spill onto hall bulletin boards.

The snow on the back patio will soon melt away and students will discover places to talk and study in the sun. This Fall, the 3-D art room will house a ceramics program, the Science labs will be equipped for Chemistry and the cafeteria will be serving up edibles to trump the current vending machine offerings.

And the buzz in classrooms is only part of the picture. Dean Kim Bateman and staff have whipped up a smorgasbord of events to encourage the community to come take the pulse of the new campus. On March 27, Biology Professor Derek Larson kicked off the first in a series of fireside Lectures with a slide show presentation about Reading the Landscape. A Poetry Slam on April 3 brought the UC Berkeley Slam Team to campus, and coaxed local poetry talent out of the woodwork. On April 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., the College’s Institute for Sustainability partnered with Sierra Business Council to present Mining’s Toxic Legacy, a slide show and discussion on the effects of mining in the Sierra with the Sierra Fund’s Mining Project Community Organizer Mike Thornton.

Next up, on April 24, will be a show of work by present and former art students. The new building with its expanse of blank walls will showcase the talents of artists, designers and photographers who have attended classes at the college over the years. There will be food, drink and live acoustic music, and an interactive component will provide an opportunity for everyone to comment on the art. The event begins at 4 p.m. and winds up with an awards ceremony at 6 p.m., when local artists Anke Hass, Jesse Martin and Ursula Heimowitz will recognize outstanding work.

The recent free events have offered a variety of educational, entertaining, and artistic presentations ” just what many people had in mind when they voted to support the bond for the construction of a real college campus in Truckee. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, stop by Friday, April 24 to see what’s brewing at the college on the hill in the heart of town.

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