WCSD works to end overcrowding in schools

RENO, Nev. (KOLO The Washoe County School District is working hard to meet its aggressive goals to reduce overcrowding.

The plan is to open new schools in the valley.

Even with the opening of Nick Poulakidas elementary school...classrooms are at capacity.

Adam Searcy is the Chief Facilities Management Officer of Washoe County. He said another solution they're working on is rezoning to even spread students between schools.

"With the passage of WC1 in 2016, it was immediately intended to address pent up over crowding," said Searcy. "So we have hundreds of portable classrooms in many schools that are experiencing years of overcrowding. That's going to take time to relieve."

Searcy wants to reassure parents proposals are in place for a permanent fix.

Temporary portable classrooms are in place to house students until they're zoned to new schools.

"We made great progress in 2019 with our schools. We've seen more than anticipated demand in the new Poulakidis school," added Searcy. "Fortunately with this dedicated revenue stream, we already have a school site purchased near the Poulakidas zone and we're already moving forward with design plans to deliver the opening of that new school in a couple of years."

Searcy said actions will take place in due time so what's the next step in building a new school?

So once the Washoe County School District identifies the need for a new school and owns the property, then it's basically a year or two in design, permitting, bidding and construction to plan the school.

"We try to make sure we're as nimble as possible right," said Searcy. "We're not building schools before they're needed, because that's not efficient use of tax payer dollars but we want to provide an optimal learning environment for the students that we do have.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019