Cole is enthusiastic about community
Editor’s Note: This is the thirds in a series of articles on builders of South Lake Tahoe by Steve Brown, an instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College, where he teaches a class on the Science of Building. Each article will profile a person at the South Shore who is a builder of structures as well as being actively involved in building a better community.
Everyone knows who Hal Cole is. But not everyone knows his background or what really excites him. Cole is an engineer and social scientist by education, a builder by trade, and now serves the community as his second career.
Born in Oakland, Calif., he soon moved to Tahoe, where he graduated from South Tahoe High School before going on to the University of California, Davis for six years. He got into construction through his wife’s family, and enjoyed it so much that he made that his first career.
Cole’s passion for this most beautiful place began when, as a youth, he spent summers at the grandfather’s cabin in Strawberry, Calif. His father opened an electronics service shop at Tahoe in 1959, and he has never even thought of leaving the area.
Cole sees the future of construction in the Tahoe Basin as being entirely involved with a continual upgrading of existing facilities, making our community even more beautiful, while preserving the natural beauty as much as possible. When asked to name the accomplishment which has given him the most satisfaction, he immediately replied, “the ice arena.” He was involved in the early conceptual planning, the fund-raising process and the eventual actualization of that and other youth facilities. He waxes elegant when speaking of the importance of youth sports.
To appreciate Hal Cole you need to understand his enthusiasm for this community, and his desire to preserve the beauty that surrounds us. His reason to become involved with the governing bodies here was initially to inject a voice of reason with respect to the builders’ viewpoint. After being totally immersed in all aspects of the problem, however, he now wrestles with balancing the rights of individuals with those of the community — the tradition and heritage of freedom we have with those of the common good.
I believe he is a man for all seasons and we are fortunate to have people like him working for us.
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