WCSD Breaks Ground On Elementary School
The Washoe County School District has wanted to build a new elementary school in south Reno for a decade and that is finally happening. Students and parents joined officials for the groundbreaking ceremony of Nick Poulakidas Elementary School, Tuesday.
The Washoe County School District has wanted to build a new elementary school in south Reno for a decade and that is finally happening.
Students and parents joined officials for the groundbreaking ceremony of Nick Poulakidas Elementary School, Tuesday. The school will help alleviate overcrowding at Double Diamond and Brown Elementary Schools when it opens in the fall of 2019.
"They are bursting at the seams,” Traci Davis, WCSD Superintendent said. “I just passed Double Diamond, there's tons of kids everywhere. This is going to be an opportunity to relieve that overcrowding.”
Brown and Double Diamond both have more than 900 students but they are built for 600. That high number has forced some classes to take place in hallways, lunch rooms and on stages.
“It’s hard on the kids, it’s hard on the teachers and of course, they’re not getting as much attention and support for their individual learning needs, so we’re just thrilled to be able to do this,” Katy Simon Holland, Washoe County School Board President said.
South Reno is growing quickly, with new housing developments throughout the area. Holland Simon says this school serves multiple purposes.
"This is our highest growth area where we have the most overcrowding,” Simon Holland said. “We're providing 400 jobs and about 81 percent of the contracts are going to local subcontractors."
The school district is expected to grow at a rate of 1.4 percent over the next eight years. That is approximately 1,000 new students each year. The school district says it’s growth estimates are reasonable and they have a plan in place for the future.
“We have to pace ourselves and we’ll be pacing ourselves with the growth as it occurs, where it occurs,” Simon Holland said.
"We know that the growth is all over the community, so we have a great team that will continue to monitor that, and we will put our schools where they're needed,” Davis said.
The new school is named for Nick Poulakidas who worked for WCSD for 30 years, including 24 as the principal at Lincoln Park School. He passed away in 1981 when he was 55 years-old. His widow, Chris, and his daughter, Lynn LeGoy, attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
"This is absolutely fabulous,” LeGoy said. “We’ve been waiting a really long time and he’s well deserving of the honor.”
The school will have a single point of entry and a system that tracks who is visiting the schools. Officials say the school has the latest in technology and was designed with some of the best ideas from around the United States.
“I think it's particularly fitting for it to be the first of the new generation of schools,” LeGoy said. “I think he would be particularly proud of that."
"I think this is going to make the educational environment, the actual room and the climate makes a huge difference,” Davis said. “So we're pretty excited about what's going to happen for our students."
The ultimate goal is to get every school off the multi-track schedule. Building more schools will also allow the school district to move portable classrooms to other schools, with the hope to eventually do without the trailers.
Two middle schools are under construction in Sun Valley and Spanish Springs, and crews just finished Damonte Ranch High School’s expansion. The next priority is the new Wildcreek High School, possibly followed by more elementary schools.