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New Bear River library a dream come true

John HartAssistant librarian Carol Helsby shelves books Tuesday at the new Bear River Library.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Bear River High School had a growth spurt last summer.

“We’re big, we’re gorgeous, we’re happy,” library and media teacher Christine Trussler said about life in the new two-story wing.

The building houses the south county school’s new library, the school’s first TV production room, a new photo lab, art lab and workroom, ceramics studio and teachers’ workroom. There’s also a lecture hall and career center.



“There are days when every single seat is filled,” said Trussler, who refers to her job the old-fashioned way – librarian.

On a recent weekday morning, senior Taylor Harvey was there to research a government class paper on a possible attack on Iraq, but took a few minutes to read about the new band Audio Slave in Rolling Stone magazine.




Dick Burton, a retired school administrator and frequent substitute teacher, read magazines during a break.

Sophomore Justin Barba forgot his gym clothes for his P.E. class so he was sent to the library to write a one-page essay on fitness. He also used the time to research a paper on imperialism for his history class.

Next door, coming in from the cold, were four students returning to the TV production room. Junior Leif Nielsen was one of 60 students interested and 28 who actually got in the class.

Brian Peregina, a junior who took TV production classes at Roseville’s Woodcreek High as a freshman, started a production company with friends last year. Members of “Angry Golfer Productions,” as the Lake of the Pines company is called, felt fortunate to get into the class, senior Jon Zisko said.

The library opened about a week before school started in August, but junior Josh Reasnyder came by before that, found the doors unlocked, “and checked it out.” He liked what he saw because he has two classes in the new wing – video production and photography.

Eight video-editing stations share the room with tables and chairs for teacher Steve McCullough’s math classes, but next year the school may offer a second video production class.

The joint public/high school library was a dream of former principal Dick Werntz, and someday staff will get the sign showing the library is named for him, Trussler said.

None of the recent Measure A bond money paid for the facility, she said. “We scrimped and saved for 15 years,” she said.

The library is half again as big as the school’s old one, estimated Paul Palmer, director of facilities, maintenance and operations for the district.

So is the career center, on the second floor with 35 computers.

The photography classroom has a bigger darkroom and is more conducive to teaching photography.

The building cost $3.6 million, partially paid for through a loan, Palmer said.


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