Truckee High gets a fresh look for the first day of class |

Truckee High gets a fresh look for the first day of class

Courtesy illustrationThe new gymnasium at Tahoe Truckee High School is expected to be complete in the 2006-07 school year. This, year the school has a new cafeteria and new science rooms.

Millions of dollars plus countless hours spent over the past months have added up to new and better facilities for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

The $6.4 million worth of work at Tahoe Truckee High School started more than a year ago with an initial renovation of the school’s east wing, which received new windows, mechanical systems, and wall coverings.

This year, a new cafeteria has been built and the former lunch facility has been transformed into two science labs that will be used for chemistry and biology, complete with chemical preparation room and office space for teachers.

“I have not been able to teach in a proper science room in more than a decade; it’s the first time Paul Smith has taught in one in 25 years. So just having lab rooms is a huge improvement. It’s going to make for a better situation for teachers and students,” said science teacher Sue Lowder.

The new cafeteria, which cost roughly $3 million, will have more uses than just a lunch room, said John Britto, school district director of facilities and maintenance.

“The cafeteria will be able to seat about one-third of the student body, which is what we had hoped. It has also been designed to be used for a variety of different things; it’s a good meeting space, and can possibly be available for dances,” Britto said. “We think it can be a multi-use student union, with round, raised tables and stools like at a coffee shop with lots of color and interesting architecture. It has a very nice feel to it.”

A new $8.7 million 12,000-square-foot gymnasium is also under construction at Truckee High and will be unveiled for the 2006-07 school year with new athletic team rooms for both boys and girls. Truckee Elementary is planning for a new multi-purpose room, and Alder Creek Middle School has reconfigured its parking lots to allow for more space for parent drop-off.

The money used for these projects is coming from the Measure C, a bond measure that passed in 1998, which requires that dollars raised be used for school architectural and construction maintenance, said Rob Koster, school district project manager.

Outside, renovations are underway at the Truckee High’s Surprise Stadium, which received new sod before the 2005 graduation ceremony, and, following commencement, a new irrigation system and automatic sprinklers. The track field, near the old Sierra Mountain Middle School campus, is also undergoing maintenance to fill in depressed areas, regenerate growth, and repair sprinklers. Because the track field has been completely fenced off and will not be re-opened for use until the summer of 2006, the district has decided to hold off on repairing the east-west field until, adjacent to Donner Pass Road, next year.

The field renovations are on-schedule and within budget, said Chris Cooper, director of maintenance and operations.

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