Groundbreaking for expansion at college |

Groundbreaking for expansion at college

Construction began Monday on Lake Tahoe Community College’s Phase 2 South project.

Under Proposition 1A, the college received state school construction funds to build a cafeteria and gymnasium. Building costs for the expansion, which also includes a business services remodel, is almost $8 million.

The gymnasium will go up adjacent to and south of the main parking lot while the culinary arts/cafeteria building will be erected south of the existing main building.

“We are very excited, not just a little excited, very excited,” LTCC District Superintendent/President Guy Lease said. “The addition of a permanent physical education facility and a culinary arts teaching facility, as well as a student cafeteria allows us to be a much more comprehensive community college. This is another huge step in building out the master plan for the college.”

Westcoast Contractors of Nevada, out of Reno, is working on the project, which is slated for completion in November 2002.

“That’s the estimated time it will be done, accounting for a couple months of bad weather,” said Jon Stephens, LTCC vice president of business services. “We’d like to get it done sooner. I think the most exciting part about the whole project is we’re finding a permanent home here on campus for our culinary arts program and we’re also providing an important venue for our faculty to teach physical education classes.”

Phase 2 South will increase the size of the college campus tremendously, LTCC officials said. The total outside gross square footage of the project is about 37,500 square feet.

The gymnasium will include table tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, dance and exercise studios and locker rooms. The cafeteria, which will serve as a food service facility as well as home base for culinary arts courses, will feature casual and fine dining areas, a kitchen lab and demonstration kitchen.

“We will definitely be able to offer more courses in physical education and dance as a result of this and we’ll be able to accommodate more students at one time,” Stephens said. “And I think having one centralized location will really help the culinary arts program.”

Culinary arts instructor Steve Fernald’s cooking classes are currently at casinos or South Tahoe Middle School.

“That’s going to be incredible, having everything centrally located,” Fernald said. “We’ll probably have culinary arts program classes during the day and shorter fun classes for community members in the evenings; just sort of casual, get together cooking.”

Fernald said Phase 2 South additions will make life a little easier for him.

“It will make a lot of difference,” he said. “I’m learning how to be patient. I think I can do anything now. I mean, I’ve learned how to run a culinary arts class without a kitchen.”

Physical Education Chair Walter Morris shared enthusiasm about the project.

“Our department is a very big department and it has been growing even though we’ve been relying heavily on our partnerships with venues in the community,” Morris said. “South Tahoe High School and the middle school, in particular, are two of our strongest partners. Our program has flourished despite the fact we’ve been spread out. Now we have the opportunity to consolidate our programs in a central location and we’ll be able to offer more activities for our students and the community as a whole.”

Dance and aerobics instructor Rexanne Ring-Harris said she thinks the new facility will be beautiful.

“I’m very excited about the new facility,” she said. “We’re also hoping to keep our current dance studio so we’ll be able to double our course offerings in dance, aerobics and movement exercise classes and better serve our community and student needs.”

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