The Washoe County School District held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new middle school in Spanish Springs on Thursday.
During the ceremony, WCSD Superintendent Traci Davis told a small crowd, "I want to thank everyone in this community who made this happen..."
"We're going to see a wonderful physical education space, music rooms, art rooms creative collaborative learning spaces for our children. So it's not just a building it's a great academic environment and a learning environment for our kids," says Veronica Frenkel, WCSD Trustee, District F (At Large)
The proposed Sky Ranch Middle School is expected to hold a capacity of about 1,400 students from sixth- to eighth grade.
Sky Ranch is the name of a former airfield in the Spanish Springs area that was used during World War II. It was used during and after the war as an army training field. Later, Sky Ranch served as the home of the National Championship Air Races in 1964 and 1965 before the races moved to Stead in 1966. The School Naming Committee members say they chose "Sky Ranch" as a finalist to honor that history. It was one of three finalists submitted to the school board for a final vote.
"We try to push for the best names," Naming Committee Chair Frank Perez said, "and I think Sky Ranch is one of those top names that we had."
Ultimately, the Board of Trustees made the choice over two names with quite a bit of community support: Michael Landsberry, the teacher who was killed at the Sparks Middle School shooting in 2013, and late State Senator Debbie Smith. Perez said those names are still under consideration for the other new schools being built.
For Michael Landsberry in particular, they want to hear from his family first.
"I think we were all expecting Michael Landsberry to go forward," Perez said, "but they did bring up the important point, because it's important to get input from his family."
Sky Ranch Middle School is being built on David Allen Parkway in the new Kiley Ranch development. It's expected to open for students in August 2019.
The new school will help relieve overcrowding at other middle schools in the area, and relieve overcrowding at nearby elementary by moving sixth grade to middle school.
The school district says the cost of the school- including the land- won't exceed $85 million, but bids by contractors could lower that.