WCSD takes advantage of Spring Break to make repairs and improvements

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The sales tax increase from WC-1 goes into effect this weekend with the start of April. But the Washoe County School District doesn't expect to see any of that money until June at the earliest. Still, that's not stopping the district from moving ahead with repairs that need to get done while students are on break.

At Katherine Dunn Elementary School, crews are doubling the width of the sidewalk in front of the school to make it safer for students when they return. It's just one of many improvement projects going on during Spring Break.

"Fire alarm work, electrical panel upgrades, it's just a long list," says Joe Gabica, Chief Facilities Management Officer.

Other improvements include new restrooms at McQueen High School and a new portable at Libby Booth Elementary School.

"I think it's great, especially for Libby Booth and this community," says Dale Baldwin, who lives near the school. "They don't spend a lot of time on the older schools so I think the more they can spend on schools like this, the better it is for all of us."

Gabica says the money being used for these Spring Break projects is coming from the 2015-2025 bond rollover that Governor Brian Sandoval signed during the last legislative session.

"So what we're doing is we're taking as much of the property tax monies that we can, bonding against that and getting this work done. Getting it started right now," says Gabica.

While Gabica says about half of the schools in the district are getting some kind of work done during Spring Break, the major repairs will be done during Summer Break. Some schools, like Wooster High School, are slated for more than one million dollars in repairs and upgrades.

Washoe County School District officials say they are only able to do these big projects because voters said yes on WC-1.

"WC-1 money allowed for this to happen," says Gabica. "If we didn't have that to look forward to, we would be taking the 2015 - 2025 monies and spreading it out and just doing critical needs."

Once the School District starts to get some of the WC-1 funding this summer, it plans to use some of that money to pay for repairs and improvements.