Construction in high gear at high school |

Construction in high gear at high school

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily TribuneSteve Morales, Lake Tahoe Unified School District facilities director, walks along side the Career Technical Education building at South Tahoe High School. Currently the campus is closed to the public because of construction, but will reopen in time for school.

With the start of the school year approaching, construction at the South Tahoe High School is ramping up.

“We’re on schedule, and we’re on budget,” said Steve Morales, Lake Tahoe Unified School District facilities director.

Morales reported on the status of the projects at the LTUSD Board meeting Tuesday.

Workers began prepping the Career Technical Education building Thursday to start building the support for the facility’s second floor, Morales said.

“The push is on for the site and we’re doing pretty well,” Morales said.

The second floor of the portable replacement building is 60 percent laid, Morales said.

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One of the challenges with all the construction is that district staff have spent a a lot of time at the job site, Morales said. Staff is there taking care of routine maintenance that normally happens during the summer.

“It’s an existing campus and it all has to work together,” Morales said.

Football players still need access to the locker rooms, so Morales said the players are monitored when going to suit up. The procedure is “military in fashion,” but the priority is to make sure the players and coaches are not in harm’s way on the site, he added.

“If we can’t control it, we’ll suspend access to the locker rooms,” Morales said.

The construction zones will be fenced off for the school year, and parking will be available in the lower student lot, some overflow will be at Mount Tallac Continuation School and staff parking will be the tennis courts.

STHS Principal Ivone Larson said the staff is encouraging drivers to carpool, or use alternative transportation.

“It’s going to be tight,” Larson said.

The fire access road will be completed, along with the staff parking area, by the time school starts, Morales said.

Overflow parking will be available on site as needed, Morales said.

– Chief Financial Officer Debra Yates presented the board with a budget update. The state made changes to the 2008-09 budget – which is already closed – and the 2009-10 budget.

“The simplest way to explain it is (the state) is stealing from the left hand and putting it in the right hand,” Yates said.

The impact of this latest round of cuts over two fiscal years is a loss of $111,273 to the district.

– The board approved a resolution to apply for $10 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds.

The QSCBs come from the from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. California was awarded $700 million in bonds to grant to districts

So far more than $900 million has been applied for, and the state will hold a lottery to see which districts are awarded the bonds, said Charlie Feinstein, De La Rosa & Co. senior vice president.

If awarded, the interest-free, or reduced-interest-rate bonds, would save taxpayers between $40 million to $50 million in interest from the Measure G funds, Feinstein said.

The bonds would be used to pay off the Measure G bonds already issued, which would speed up the payment process.