Wildcreek sale for new high school moving ahead

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The Washoe County Commission and the board of the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority met Tuesday to consider selling 75 acres of Wildcreek Golf Course to the school district.

The school district--facing a growing overcrowding problem--is pursuing what it frankly describes as an aggressive timeline to build a new high school.

They've focused on Wildcreek, which is owned by the convention authority, but losing money.

The plan is to move students now attending an aging Hug High School, plus additional students from Sun Valley now attending a near-capacity Spanish Springs High to the new school, then renovate and recast Hug as a Career and Technical Academy.

The district believes--and a due diligence study confirms--the Wildcreek property fits its needs.

The RSCVA is apparently anxious to walk away from the golf course, but local golfers and neighbors have been objecting at every public meeting and town hall where the issue is on the agenda.

They were heard once again December 12, 2017, but they were joined by some new voices, students from Hug High School who showed up in impressive numbers to add their input, arguing for a better learning environment.

At the end, after four hours of presentation, discussion and public comment, members of the two boards voted separately four-to-one to approve moving forward with negotiations leading to a sale. Sparks Councilman Ed Lawson and Commissioner Vaughn Hartung are the dissenting votes.

The result may have something for everyone. There's a clear consensus to place the high school toward the north end of the golf course, leaving the nine-hole executive course and club house to preserve golf and some open space at Wildcreek.

"We'll maintain a nice executive course that people can play and enjoy and have a great buffer between McCarran and the high school and we get a brand new high school to help students that haven't had a school in 50 years," said Bob Lucey, who chairs both the county commission and the RSCVA board.

The school district's timeline remains intact, hopefully completing the sale by this summer, breaking ground this time next year with the new school opening in 2021. The career and technical school at Hug reopening the following year.