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Tahoe research center a highlight for forum

Gregory Crofton

A dedication ceremony for a project that will result in a $24 million Alpine lake research center in Incline Village at Sierra Nevada College will highlight the unofficial second half of Lake Tahoe Forum.

But unlike the Lake Tahoe Forum – an annual, invite-only meeting to be hosted at the Ponderosa Ranch on Thursday morning – the ceremony at the college will be in the afternoon and open to the public.

“We want people to come celebrate the site dedication and symbolic launch of the project,” said Marnie MacArthur, communication director for the Sierra Nevada College, located off State Route 28 several miles north of the Ponderosa Ranch.

The ceremony, from 1 to 3 p.m., will celebrate the launch of work to build the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, a 45,000 square-foot facility to be constructed on the college’s campus starting in 2005.

Sen. Harry Reid, Assemblyman Tim Leslie, UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, and Sierra Nevada College President Ben Solomon are scheduled to speak at the event. The site dedication will take place in the center of the Sierra Nevada College campus and involve a beaker of Lake Tahoe water being broken on the bow of a UC Davis research boat.

Construction of the center is likely to begin by spring 2005 and be completed by 2006. The building will contain offices and laboratories for the UC Davis Tahoe Research Group and Desert Research Institute, classrooms for Sierra Nevada College and a conference area with room for 150 people.

More than half the money needed to build the center will come from $13 million in private donations collected by UC Davis Tahoe Research Group, which has studied the lake since 1959.

Additional funding for the three-story building is to be provided by Sierra Nevada College, the Desert Research Institute, RAND Corp. (a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Monica that focuses on technology that helps protect the environment), the federal government, and Sierra Pacific Power.

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com


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