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PHOTOS: Groundbreaking for new O’Brien Middle School caps off school year


Photos by Eric Marks

O’Brien Middle School students and staff along with Washoe County School District officials celebrated the final day of the 2020-2021 school year June 4 with a groundbreaking for the school’s new building.

WCSD is rebuilding the aging O’Brien school, which opened in 1976 and accommodates seventh and eighth graders on two floors. The new building will be three stories with approximately 170,000 square feet and allow for students in grades 6-8 to be within the same building.

According to the district’s 20-year capital renewal plan, O’Brien is projected to be approaching capacity within the next ten years with just students in grades 7-8. The addition to sixth graders to the school would not be possible without additional classroom space.

Work on the new building was already underway by the groundbreaking date, and construction is expected to be complete for a school opening in fall 2022. Once the new building opens, the older building will be demolished and the land will be developed into athletic fields for the school. The fields are expected to be completed in 2023.

The cost is estimated at $82.7 million.

The ceremony included students from O’Brien’s JROTC color guard, advanced orchestra and advanced band, along with the Stead Elementary School fourth grade choir. WCSD Superintendent Kristen McNeill and Board of Trustees members Andrew Caudill and Kurt Thigpen were also on hand, along with O’Brien principal Melynda Baker.

Photos from Friday’s event are below.

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