Dirt was officially moved Tuesday as South Reno cheered the groundbreaking of Nick Poulakidas Elementary School, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019.
Poulakidas, 9600 Mojave Sky Drive, will be in the South Meadows area near the Corona Cyan subdivision on land donated by the subdivision’s developer. The 745-capacity, two-story school will serve students up through fifth grade.
It will have 28 classrooms: one science, technology, engineering, arts and math laboratory; three “hub” spaces for collaborative learning and projects; and drought-tolerant landscaping and a single point-of-entry. The energy-efficient design includes a geothermal heat exchange system.
The school will draw from Brown and Double Diamond elementary schools and is expected to move Double Diamond off the multitrack year-round calendar by the 2019-20 school year.
Double Diamond is the Washoe County School District’s largest elementary school with 917 students enrolled on validation day in the fall. Its base capacity is 710. Brown was the district’s third largest with 861, with a base capacity of 638.
“This school was actually planned a decade ago, but those plans were put on the shelf with the recession hit and we lost revenue and enrollment,” Superintendent Traci Davis said.
The school was named for Poulakidas, who worked for the district more than 30 years as a teacher at Mitchell Elementary, Veterans Memorial Elementary and Sparks Intermediate School. He was also a principal at Lincoln Park Elementary School. He had been honored for his commitment to education by the Nevada Parent Teacher Association and the National Parent Teacher Association. He died in 1981 while attending a conference in Ely.
Funds for school construction are coming from November 2016’s 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.