Campus construction ahead of schedule |

Campus construction ahead of schedule

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

It’s almost finished.

Thanks to favorable construction conditions and unwavering support, the $8 million construction project at Lake Tahoe Community College is two months ahead of schedule, and college officials can’t be happier.

The basketball courts in the new gymnasium were painted with the college’s white and green colors last week and kitchen supplies are waiting to be installed in the new cafeteria.

Jon Stephens, vice president of business services, expects the two buildings to be ready near the start of school Sept. 23.

The project, which began in May 2001 and was funded entirely by Proposition 1A monies, will swell the size of the college. The outside gross square footage of the project is close to 37,500 feet.

At the basketball courts, polished wood gleamed from the lighting of 40 square light fixtures overhead. Two green scoreboards were turned off, waiting for a game.

Stephens pointed to large windows on the front and back walls of the gym. The windows allow natural light to seep through the room, saving energy and allowing athletes views of pine trees.

Workers sanded the floor of the fitness room where free weights, treadmills and televisions would soon be installed. More than $200,000 in exercise equipment was purchased, Stephens said.

Located down the hall from the fitness room is the dance studio. Stephens pounded the floor with his foot. Two layers of rubber underneath the wood surface had the density to absorb shock while the rubber underneath the basketball court repels shock, Stephens explained.

Previously, basketball and volleyball courses were located off college grounds at South Tahoe High School. Without having to work around the high school’s schedule, the classes will be expanded from six to 12 weeks and offered during the day, said Cynthea Preston, dean of instruction.

The cafeteria will house the culinary arts program and provide food service to hungry students. The two will likely intermingle, Preston said.

Food service will not start until late October or early November, Preston said. The plan is to have breakfast, lunch and dinner for hungry students.

“We’re going to start slowly,” she said. “We’re going for quality and not quantity.”

Currently culinary art classes are located at casino kitchens or South Tahoe Middle School.

Preston commented on a recreation 1-unit cooking class called “Cooking Magic.” It will be a three-week course covering such topics as cooking for singles, chocolates and sauces. The first course will cover lunches.

Stephens believes the two buildings, along with future projects such as a library and athletic fields, will enhance students’ time spent at the college.

“We feel they’re going to have more of that college experience,” he said.

A grand opening ceremony for the gym is slated for Sept. 14. Tours, demonstrations and on-site registration are some of the activities available that day.

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