Truckee college campus design ideas continuing
October 31, 2005
Further progress was made at the second of three community design meetings for the new Tahoe Truckee Campus of Sierra College.Short presentations were given to highlight ideas and concerns gathered at the first meeting, which was held in July, that targeted such topics as building materials and layout, green design, and program development. Breakout sessions were then held to further address those issues. “Not many communities of our size get to have a college, and of those that do, I don’t know that they get to give the amount of input that we do,” said Sierra College Trustee Dave Ferrari.Green design and sustainabilityLionakis Beaumont Design Group, the same architectural firm that designed the eco-friendly Alder Creek Middle School campus, was awarded the contract for the Sierra College project in January of this year. Since then, the firm has been focusing on the sustainability of the college’s design, which is said to include the use of recycled materials for roofing and flooring, passive solar heating for both warmth inside and snowmelt outside, and a mandatory recycling program.”We want to make good, sound, sustainable decisions in the design process,” said David Younger, a partner at Lionakis Beaumont.More green suggestions from interested community members included the construction of a living roof, advanced weatherization to minimize air leakage, and ground-source heat pumps to balance the cost of natural gas.Massing and materialsAfter taking into account the opinions of community members and the current building trends in the area, it has been determined that the college will be built primarily with natural materials such as wood and stone. The use of brick and steel will be minimal.Lionakis representatives at the community meeting likened their design ideas to academia-meets-ski-lodge, a fusion that seemed to bode well with locals. The designs presented at the gathering were both two-story and included large windows, a courtyard at the college’s main entrance, and pitched roofs. “We need a flexible floor plan to allow for changing course and community needs,” said Rick Rantz, dean of the Tahoe Truckee campus.And flexible it shall be. The vision for final blueprints is still largely undetermined because all sides are still interested in gathering more community insight. Presently, there are plans to include computer labs, art labs, science labs, community use rooms, and lecture rooms, though not all of those components will be completed in phase one of the building process, according to Lionakis program manager Owen Letcher. The first phase of development will allow for a student capacity of 500. That number will double upon completion of the second phase. New courses will be developed starting with the needs of the recreation industry, according to Rantz, and there will also be a heavy emphasis placed on the hospitality industry, tourism, and visual and performing arts.There has also been discussion of a future partnership with Tahoe Forest Hospital in order to facilitate a nursing program, according to Paige Nebeker, director of marketing for the hospital.The majority of programming will be specific to the region’s needs, according to Letcher, and little will be copied or borrowed from the other campuses unless their is a strong value to the Tahoe area. However, there is a strong possibility that some courses from the sister campuses will be available through a new video-stream system. “It is difficult to incorporate so many diverse opinions and ideas into the design process, so we are picking out the themes and trends,” said Ferrari. There will be one final community input meeting in late February or early March. A final date is yet to be determined.