WCSD moves on projects to ease overcrowding

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WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) -- Brand new hallways, lockers and 22 classrooms.

Damonte Ranch High School has expanded by 28,000 square feet and it's something the Washoe County School District says was needed at one of its most overcrowded high schools.

"It's really two additions, one on one side of the high school, one on the other," says Adam Searcy, WCSD Deputy Facilities Manager.

While the classrooms could have been ready for the students by now, the school district and administrators at the school decided to hold off on filling them with students just now, saying it would be easier for students and more cost-effective to wait until next school year. The expansion was the first project to get started as a result of the passage of WC-1, but it's not the only one that's creating more learning space.

Over at Echo Loder Elementary School, there's a new classroom in the 60-year-old building.

"It wasn't always a classroom. It started off as a boiler room. we actually called it the dungeon," says Principal Dina Ciaramella. Ciaramella says it wasn't really being used, so the transformation happened and she says that has alleviated the possibility of having to go to multi-track year-round in the near future.

"We are still full, but this room has actually alleviated a lot of pressure for us," she says.

In the meantime, work continues in Sun Valley, where a middle school will soon be built.

"If you go up in that area, you'll see massive earthwork taking place," says Searcy. "Retaining walls being constructed. We're opening bids today for the building portion of that project. Expect to see that coming out of the ground in May."

It's on the same schedule as the new Spanish Springs Middle School. Both are still on track to open in August 2019.

"Once this community voted to increase the sales tax through WC-1, we've responded as swiftly as we can," says Searcy.