The Washoe County School District says work has started on the new middle school planned for Sun Valley. 

The BLM approved the lease for the site Tuesday.

Currently there are four elementary schools in the Sun Valley area, but no middle schools.

Earlier this year, Angie Taylor, president with the WCSD board of trustees, said a new school would reduce the commute for many parents and their kids.

Taylor says a new middle school would keep all sixth to eighth grade Sun Valley kids in one location. Meaning reduced stress on elementary school classrooms as well.

"Those elementary schools in Sun Valley that have sixth grade because there's no place else to send them, cause we don't have a middle school, all those sixth graders will be pulled right here to this location," says Taylor.

Taylor says the Sun Valley location was chosen not just because of the available land, but also because of growth in the area. Construction is expected cost anywhere from $50 - $60 million. A public groundbreaking is scheduled for December 19th. 

While the model of the school will closely mirror the newer schools built in the district, some upgrades will also be made.

"Educational specs change, needs change, technology changes and so on," says Taylor.

Tracey Tresley is a parent and teacher in Sun Valley. She says a brand new school near her neighborhood will be an unexpected treat for the entire community.

"I was actually very excited and surprised that they chose out here to put one first, but I definitely think it's a necessity,” says Tresley.

The Washoe County School Naming Committee discussed possible names for the new school last month. Semi-finalists include Neil Fockler, Fred Horlacher, Karen Tatomer and Sun Valley Middle School. The school board will make the final decision at a later date. 

The new school is expected to open August 2019.