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High School at Wildcreek, Hug Refurbishing Delayed One Year

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One of seven proposed designs for Wildcreek High School.
One of seven proposed designs for Wildcreek High School.

The opening of the new high school at the Wildcreek Golf Course has been postponed a year, as well as the refurbishing of Hug High School into a career and technical academy, the Washoe County School District said this week.

Initial plans were to close Hug at the end of the 2020-21 school year, have the new school open by fall 2021 and for Hug to reopen in fall 2022 but plans were pushed back a year.

“The contractor and architect said we were pushing ourselves and at risk of having people tripping over each other,” district spokesman Riley Sutton said. “As they got into specifics of design, it became apparent to the point where they said, ‘Do you want the school quick or do you want it done right?’”

Hug High School
Hugh High School. Photo: WCSD

Also, starting construction while the design phase was going on could’ve been problematic, Sutton said. The architect and contractor also said opening by the original timeline would’ve left no room for construction delays, almost no time for staff to move in, and not enough time for first responders and school police to learn the building’s layout, he said.

The delay was unrelated to the lawsuit filed March 12 by Save Wildcreek against the school district, Washoe County, Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and city of Sparks. Save Wildcreek is seeking to halt construction of the school. Sutton wasn’t sure if the district had been served as of Friday but said the district’s legal counsel has seen initial claims by Save Wildcreek and indicated they lack merit.

Plans are for the school to be built on 75 acres of the 212-acre Wildcreek public course, 3500 Sullivan Lane in Sparks. It has an 18-hole, par-72 course and a 9-hole, par-27 course on site and is operating at a loss of $270,000 annually.

The school, which hasn’t been named, would serve the existing Hug High School zone and provide overcrowding relief for Spanish Springs High School, and potentially other area high schools.

Funds for school construction to alleviate crowding are coming from the November 2016 0.54 percent voter-approved sales tax increase. Such dollars can go only toward construction of and refurbishing of facilities. This money cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operations.

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Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.

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