6/09 tahoe mt. news
By Kathryn Reed
It’s a hole in the ground with an end in site – despite a soggy spring.
South Tahoe High students are expected to be learning in two new buildings in the 2010-11 school year, if not sooner.
The November ’08 voter approved $64.5 million facilities bond is paying for the work.
Joe Stewart, one of the owners of SMC Construction Co., is the general contractor. He expects about one-third of the subs to be local.
His office is alongside Herback General Engineering’s trailer in the lower parking lot of the school. Massive earth moving equipment dots the landscape where about 300 trees once stood.
Each day the terrain changes. Bigger holes are dug. More supplies brought in. Sewer lines worked on. It’s all about underground work right now.
On Day 2 of construction a sewer line was found to be 9 feet higher than it was supposed to be. Little surprises like that are normal in this business.
Besides what local property owners are paying for, the state will supply $15 million in matching funds for the high school buildings. It’s expected to arrive in district coffers by the end of the year.
This month the district should find out if it is receiving a $3.8 million joint use grant with the city of South Lake Tahoe for shared use at the high school.
Another $4 million may be in the pipeline for South Tahoe Middle School to ease overcrowding. It’s been determined the school qualifies, now it’s still a matter of winning approval for the funds that would replace 10 classrooms.
Even though construction had begun at the high school long before the ceremonious May 15 groundbreaking, that day was reserved to recognize the numerous people who helped get the district to this point.
The late Teri Allmeroth was credited with being the guiding light. With a doctorate in curriculum, Allmeroth knew facilities would create programs that would provide an education for local students that could be on par with much larger districts.
“She was the conduit, the vision,” STHS Principal Ivone Larson said.
Praise was handed out to several people that day, including the electorate. Former school board member Angela Swanson was given her due for helping secure the grants.
Teachers Frank Kovac, Nancy Dalton and Phil Williams spoke about being excited to have been in at the architectural design phase and watching a dream come true.
“This is about giving the gift of learning,” Williams said.