Expansion begins at Damonte Ranch High School

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- The first project funded by the WC-1 ballot initiative is now being constructed at Damonte Ranch High School. School district officials and city leaders broke ground Thursday on a 22-classroom expansion.

"This change to this environment and to this school will make a huge difference to the students. I know they are looking forward to it," said Veronica Frenkel, Trustee for the Washoe County School District.

There will be a six-classroom addition on the east side of the building and a 16-classroom addition on the west side. The added space will be a major change for teachers.

"They literally go to a different room for every single class they teach," said Denise Hausauer, Principal at Damonte Ranch High School.

With the additional classrooms teachers will remain in place, making it easier for students to find them.

"All of that will help me and my fellow students have a better education at the school," said Thaddaeus Lam, Incoming Student Body Vice President.

Because the work being done at Damonte Ranch is an addition and not an entirely new building, the construction time line is accelerated. Students could enter the new classrooms late this year or early next year.

The more than $11 million project is the first to break ground after voters authorized WC-1 last November.

"This is a sustainable source of funding that is going to help us not just for the next few years, but for the foreseeable future. For the next generation or two of students."

This is the first of several scheduled projects. The district also wants to build an additional three high schools, three middle schools and nine elementary schools.

"I think this is just the beginning of what we are going to do for our kids." said Traci Davis, Superintendent of the Washoe County School District.

The next projects on the schedule are an elementary school in the South Meadows in 2018 and middle schools in Sun Valley and Spanish Springs in 2019.