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Revamped schools await students

Andy Bourelle

About 6,000 students are returning to school today, and many of them will notice a few changes at their schools.

The Lake Tahoe Unified School District’s school buildings received a wide variety of improvements over the summer, ranging from new ovens and external paint jobs to new classrooms and even a new $500,000 roof on Meyers Elementary School.

“It’s been a real productive summer for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District,” said Steve Morales, LTUSD facilities director. “I think the efforts of the district staff will be apparent when the students show up Tuesday.”

Morales said a “rough, rough estimate” of how much money was spent on improvements this summer was about $750,000. In recent years, with new construction projects, the district typically spent more.

“These are pretty typical of the types of things done over the summer,” Morales said. “It’s been kind of a small summer in a sense. Over the last few years, it’s been in the millions.”

The largest project this summer is the Meyers Elementary School 30,000-square-foot roof. Work began Aug. 18, and Oct. 7 is the target completion date.

Morales said the edges of the roof are finished, so workers will be concentrating on inner, isolated portions away from where students’ safety will be at risk. The workers and school officials will be in constant communication to avoid disrupting the students’ education as much as possible, he said.

The smell of roofing materials and the noise could be disruptive, Morales said, but officials are trying to find ways to minimize the impact.

The playground at Al Tahoe Elementary School received an overlay of asphalt during the summer because the surface was uneven. Six new portable classrooms have been added to Al Tahoe, Tahoe Valley, Meyers and Bijou elementary schools.

Morales said all the district’s schools received computer networking upgrades, providing Internet access to each one. The project has been ongoing over the past year and was completed during the summer.

About 30,000 square feet of grass at both the high school football and middle school soccer fields were resodded and repaired in July. Workers finished building a double retaining wall at the middle school track last week, correcting erosion that has been a problem for years. A handicapped access ramp was built at the track, also.

At South Tahoe High School, new classrooms, including an independent study area, were converted from other areas which were not being used. Several outdoor landscaping projects were completed at the high school.

All the district’s schools received exterior paint jobs, some more extensive than others. Every school’s floors, carpet and furniture received a “deep clean” during the summer months.

“Every year we continue to improve our buildings a little more,” Morales said.

Superintendent Rich Alexander said the school district’s staff members are looking forward to the new year.

“It’s going to be a great year,” he said. “We’re excited to see those bright, shining faces.”

School times

Al Tahoe 9:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Bijou 8:45 a.m. to 3:10

Meyers 9:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Sierra House 9:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

Tahoe Valley 8:45 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

STMS 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. other days

STHS 7:20 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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