Lake Tahoe Unified School District completes all major projects tied to $64.5 million bond |

Lake Tahoe Unified School District completes all major projects tied to $64.5 million bond

Griffin Rogers
South Tahoe High School students walk in front of the new Tahoe Arts and Design Academy on Tuesday.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

It’s been more than four years since Lake Tahoe Unified School District broke ground on a multi-million dollar venture to improve its school facilities, but officials this week have reported that work on all major projects is now complete.

Many modernized classrooms, filled with state-of-the-art technology, now stand in place of old and outdated facilities at nearly all schools in the district.

At South Tahoe High School, students have access to a new media arts building, sports medicine facility, industrial arts facility, stadium view building, sound technology and more.

“I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such a transformation of an educational institution,” Principal Ivone Larson said.

District-wide construction began in May 2009, just months after the South Lake Tahoe community passed Measure G — a $64.5 million bond.

South Tahoe Middle School kids have been utilizing their school’s new two-story building and classroom modernizations since last year, and students at Sierra House Elementary School received new computers, monitors, document cameras and more.

Additionally, a new 20,104-square-foot building was constructed at Bijou Elementary School, and Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School received several interior and exterior improvements.

With all major projects now out of the way, the district has a remaining $1.3 million to put toward smaller projects of its choosing, Director of Facilities Steve Morales said.

However, the leftover sum won’t be enough to cover everything the district has planned.

“That $1.3 (million) is still going to present a substantial shortfall for all the high-priority projects we identified,” he said.

Still, the fact that the district has remaining funds to begin with is noteworthy, Morales said. It was made possible because the community and district were able to adapt to the many large-scale construction efforts.

“It allowed us to work year-round and complete (the projects) in a timely manner,” he said.

Future facility improvements have been arranged by priority, but it could take years before they receive the proper funding, Morales said. Grants are being looked into as a possible funding source for many non-Measure G projects.

For now, LTUSD students can continue experiencing the district’s major improvements.

“It certainly has transformed our district from an average California school district to truly one of the high performing districts, both in facility and in program,” Morales said.

Zephyr Cove Elementary School to hold fundraiser

Zephyr Cove Elementary School will present a charity event Jan. 31 for its own benefit.

Adult Prom 2014 will be held at Edgewood Ball Room from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The party, a “Great Gatsby style” event, will include a signature cocktail, hors d’oeuvres, a carving station, a dessert station, a silent auction and the crowning of a king and queen.

Tickets cost $50 per person if bought by Jan. 15 and go up to $60 after that. They can be purchased at Zephyr Cove Elementary School.

LTCC holds contest

Certain Lake Tahoe Community College students have a chance to win a pair of new skis next month through an ongoing giveaway contest at the college.

LTCC Students registered full-time at in the winter quarter can win a pair of Atomic Vantage Series Theory alpine skis if selected on Jan. 24.

To enter the contest, participants must “like” the college’s Facebook page and post a photo that shows their “LTCC Winter Spirit,” according to a press release.

The contest is being put on through a partnership between LTCC, Heavenly Ski Resort, Heavenly Sports and Atomic Skis. For more information, call Diane Lewis at 530-541-4660, ext. 716.

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