Forest Service building going up fast |

Forest Service building going up fast

Construction of a $5.3 million U.S. Forest Service building on the campus of Lake Tahoe Community College is fast-paced as workers erect its roof and ready the area for paving.

Environmental rules at Lake Tahoe Basin do not allow anyone to disturb land after Oct. 15. With that in mind, groundwork for the 136-space parking lot, and erosion control work to capture runoff from the lot, happens six days a week.

“The site work is pretty much there,” said Gene Smith, project manager at the U.S. Forest Service. “Building, we still have some more work to do.”

The contractor aims to have a roof for the 25,000-square foot, two-story building completed by Nov. 5. Once the roof — to be covered with weathered copper — is up, it will provide protection from snow or rain and allow construction to continue inside the building.

The Forest Service broke ground on the project May 1 and expect it to be finished this April.

“It’s going to look sharp,” said Smith, walking around the backside of the building, near its masoned granite base.

The Forest Service’s new home will have five conference rooms. The largest one, for public meetings, will be near the front door. The front hall of the building will be vaulted and all glass, allowing guests to feel close to nature and Freel Peak, which can be seen from the second floor of the building.

Today, the agency works from two cramped office buildings at 870 Emerald Bay Road.

“It will be a nice addition to the community,” Smith said. “We’ll all basically be in one building, not across the parking lot from each other.”

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or at

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