Board members will consider starting the process for installing proper sidewalks at Sun Valley Elementary School, hear a presentation on what to do with the facility that formerly housed Incline Village Elementary School and revisit the issue of rezoning schools to alleviate overcrowding.
Staff reports state that Assembly Bill 231, passed by the Nevada Legislature and approved by former Gov. Kenny Guinn in May 2005, mandated a planning process led by the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission to evaluate existing walking paths within one mile in each direction around every public school. School district staff also participated in a planning process to determine safe walking routes.
In September 2009, the Washoe County Board of Commissioners received a state grant of about $408,000 in federal stimulus money to construct sidewalks in Sun Valley. In the spring, Washoe County will spearhead the construction of a sidewalk on Fifth Street from Sun Valley Avenue to Lupin Drive, a common path for students to reach the elementary school.
As it is now, the southwest corner at East Fifth Street and Leon Drive does not meet county right-of-way standards to install a sidewalk that meets Americans with Disabilities Act ramp engineering standards.
Washoe County will need to make an adjustment in that right-of-way. To do so, the school district would have to dedicate 200 square feet of its property to turn over maintenance to the county for any repairs needed on the sidewalk. There are no financial costs associated with this approval.
Along the lines of determining use of school facilities, the board will also take a look at options compiled by capital projects and facilities management staff regarding the old Incline Elementary School property at 771 Southwood Blvd. The board closed and changed use of the school that housed students in grades kindergarten through second grades. The new property at 915 Northwood Blvd. now handles kindergarten through fifth grade classes.
Several meetings have been held to collect input on ideas for use of the Southwood property. Staff reports state that citizens were most interested in a public/private partnership development to allow the space to be used for meetings, offices, retail and residential needs.
The district found that in order to do so, the property would have to be privately owned and thus would need to be sold for no less than fair market value. Other suggestions included using the property as a stand-alone community center for meetings and public events.
Demolition also has been considered and is estimated at $800,000, including asbestos abatement. Another $50,000 would be required to change the land back to its natural state. Otherwise, retaining ownership of the land and maintaining it longterm would cost the district $34,000 per year.
Coming back to the board is an item on the School Capacity Optimization Plan, this time geared toward elementary schools. Staff will make a presentation to trustees to urge them to hold public meetings addressing moving students from Spanish Springs Elementary School to Van Gorder and Jesse Hall elementary schools to alleviate overcrowding. Doing so would be an alternative to placing portable classrooms on the Spanish Springs site.
The plan calls for rezoning Sierra Vista, Duncan and Booth elementary schools so students can attend the school closest to their neighborhoods. Transportation costs would also be lowered as a result.
In October 2008, parents of high schools heard a similar plan for Reed, Sparks and Hug high schools. Reed was the most significantly overcrowded campus at 107 percent capacity.
The Board of Trustees meeting starts at 5 p.m. today at Kate Smith Elementary School located at 1925 F St. in Sparks.