College aims to purchase Truckee land |

College aims to purchase Truckee land

TRUCKEE – Sierra College has made an offer to buy a 76-acre site known as McIver Hill for a permanent, expanded campus in Truckee.

The purchase will be made by the end of April if Measure E, a $394 million bond initiative to raise money for the community college district, passes in the March 2 elections, Sierra College Planning Director Woodrow Wilson said.

McIver Hill is currently owned by six partners represented by managing partner Tom French.

“Our group doesn’t intend to be the owner any longer,” he said. “I know that Sierra College thinks this is the jewel in the crown because of the location.”

Sierra College officials said they are excited about the parcel. After evaluating six sites in town, the college has settled on the hill as the most promising.

Development ideas for the property, south of Interstate 80 and east of state Route 89, start with the campus, a library and dorms, and range to a performing arts center, observatory, art gallery and outdoor amphitheater.

“The site will fit the program and the community that it serves,” said Frank DeCourten, dean of the Truckee campus. “We would like to have a large gallery that could host traveling shows as well as display local artists.”

However, if Measure E, which needs 55 percent support to pass, fails in the March elections, it is unlikely that the Truckee wing of Sierra College will move to McIver Hill any time soon.

“If Measure E doesn’t pass, the district won’t have the financial resources to purchase the campus,” said Wilson. “If we found another way, we could proceed, but we would have to borrow money.”

Measure E proposes to finance repairs and upgrades in the entire Sierra Joint Community College District through bonds that will be repaid by a property tax increase of about $19 per $100,000 of assessed value per year. The measure will be voted on in four counties: Nevada, Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento.

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