You may have driven by our office on Donner Pass Road recently and wondered at the construction site that has seemingly emerged overnight across the street.  We’re quite pleased about our front row seat to progress, and happy to tell you about it.  There’s a lot going on!

For starters, the local school district demolished its old District Office, bus garages, storage facilities and an old wing of the high school to make room for its Truckee High School and eventual Truckee Elementary School modernization project.

Major changes are being made to the schools located along this stretch of Donner Pass Road – Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary.  These changes are long overdue and will create more pleasant presentation – both in the exterior and interior spaces for the two schools and will eliminate some eyesore buildings that were not being used.

Back in 2013, the District embarked on the process of creating a new Facilities Master Plan (FMP).  The purpose was to identify facility needs within our school district (Tahoe Truckee Unified) that would support the educational goals of the students.  Over $236 million in facility needs were identified in that Master Plan.  The facility needs included not only upgrading and expanding the schools but also the rehabilitation, repair and replacement of aging buildings.  The Board and staff reviewed the FMP and prioritized the facilities needs identified to include only the most crucial projects.  The Board identified over $114 million in priority projects in the Truckee Area and $62 million in the Lakeside Area.

Funding for this endeavor came from two recent Bond measures on the ballot here.  Measures E and U were approved by voters in November of 2014. Measure U was voted on by Truckee area residents, and U was a lakeside measure.  Both measures passed and since that time, a great deal of work has been underway for these facility upgrade projects.  Measure U is General Obligation Bond provides $114 million to fund the highest priority facilities needs of Truckee Area Schools.

At Truckee High School, specifically, the project involves major construction and renovation of the school building and site. Upgrades include the construction of a new two-story classroom wing to house STEAM programs and a new library. The girls’ locker room will be modernized, as will the existing building to include new finishes, upgraded mechanical and electrical equipment, and upgraded technology infrastructure. Other improvements will include enhancing the front facade, reconfiguring and expanding the band area, improving and expanding student gathering areas, enhancing bus and student drop-off areas, and improving parking layout.  The project has been planned to allow occupancy and regular school activities during the construction, which began in earnest the day after the school year ended in June. Construction of the new classroom wing has already commenced and is expected to be complete by the fall of 2018. Most of the high school’s modular buildings will be removed when construction in completed. The estimated completion date is December 2019.

Timeline and Cost:

Total THS Project Budget: $55,248,060

  • Demolition of buildings on Donner Pass Rd. and Northwoods was completed at the end of April 2017.
  • Construction of the new classroom wing started May 1, 2017 and will be occupied in the fall of 2018.
  • Increment 2, the library and building modernization is scheduled to begin the summer of 2018.
  • Six of the existing modular buildings will be removed when construction is completed.
  • Estimated completion date is December 2019.

And, over at Truckee El (as we fondly call it), the project calls for upgrading existing school building systems and site utilities; updating technology infrastructure; modernizing the existing buildings; constructing new classrooms to replace current modulars and adding new kindergarten classrooms; adding a new hands-on science lab and greenhouse; relocating the library; constructing a new cafeteria and kitchen; reorganizing staff support spaces, plus a new parking lot and drop off;  a new play field; a new kindergarten play area; new hardcourts; upgrading mechanical and fire alarm systems; and installing a security system.

Overall, this massive project will make living, working, and learning in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe area much more attractive to all – allowing us to maintain an educated, involved workforce and entice newcomers to the area, maximizing our community and what it has to offer.  We couldn’t be more excited!

There is a wealth of information to be found at the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District site with renderings for each school and timelines/phases for construction.