31 May 2013
by Treas Manning
Ski racing and the school system have been at odds for as long as most can remember. The schools have an obligation to deliver quality education for all students, making it difficult to accommodate ski training and the race circuit by manipulating class schedules. In defense of North Lake Tahoe High School they have in recent years developed an independent study forum allowing ski racers academic flexibly to coincide with training and competition. Fact is, the majority of athletes in the program are honor students, the claim can be made that the program is working.
Parents in many communities in our state are generally not happy with teacher-student ratios and the lack of outside the box thinking with project study and solution groups. Many of these parents are turning to charter schools with smaller class size, more educational field trips, and specialized guest instructors. The charter school phenominum is not an urban issue it is happening right here in our community. Several years ago a group of parents started the Creekside Cooperative Charter School with grades k-7. The school has been met with rave reviews.
The original plan for Creekside was to expand the grade levels as those first year students approach the 8th grade. That time is here and now and just in the nick of time Silicon Valley super rich guy, Bill Nguyen comes along with an expansion plan and the payload to actually bring the plan to fruition.
THE PLAN: build a middle school campus in Squaw Valley with grades 7-10. The school will focus on education with a goal of 80% student continuance to the finest universities in the country. Within 2 years the school will expand again, adding grades 11 and 12. How soon will all this happen; soon, as in this August. The Squaw Valley Preparatory Charter has been loaned a site by Squaw Valley Ski Corporation to construct a Sprung building to house the school until a permanent site can be acquired.
If it seems odd that Mr. Nguyen should pick Creekside Charter to offer his financial support and select Squaw Valley as the site for expansion, it really isn’t; Nguyen is a ski enthusiast and his children are in Squaw’s race program. Does this mean the school will be a race academy? The charter’s board of directors say no, with that said ski racing families are gearing up for a school located in the heart of one of the most prolific ski race development programs in the country. According to the school’s board one of the focuses will be to coordinate classes with study groups for extracurricular interests and activities, whether that be music, art, or ski racing.
Will the majority of students be involved in Squaw’s ski racing program, my bet is yes. We do live in a ski community and parents that want to send their promising ski racers to a quality school with an elite ski racing focus are faced with limited options, like sending their young ones off to Green Mountain or Burke academy on the east coast.
Squaw Valley has a coaching staff that is loaded with ex-Olympians and US Ski Team alumni. Why shouldn’t Squaw Valley have a school that attracts the brightest students and promising ski racers? In my mind it’s about time.
A perplexing question I am hearing from many Squaw Valley locals is why is Squaw Valley Preparatory School using Squaw Valley Ski Area’s official logo and the school’s web domain is squaw.org, which does not reflect the charter school’s name and gives the appearance that it is aligned with squaw.com, the ski area’s domain. I was told from a secondhand source that Mr. Nguyen feels that the school will attract more recognition by using the logo of the prestigious pioneer ski area, a ski area that has produced many World Cup athletes not to mention Olympic medals.
As far as I am concerned this is a one time opportunity to have an academically superior school working hand in hand with a talented coaching staff to grow the future of US ski racing and that is fine by me. What could be better for a ski town then smart kids who ski fast?
17 January 2013
by Melissa Siig
Squaw Valley Village, Calif.,’s new expansion project, which covers 100 acres adjacent to the existing village, would quadruple the number of residential and tourist accommodation units at the ski area’s base. The expansion is part of a long-term overhaul Squaw’s new owner, KSL Capital Partners, have dubbed “The Renaissance,” which also includes some $70 million in improvements to both Squaw and neighboring Alpine Meadows by 2016.
The new village, which is to be built over 12 to 15 years in four phases, calls for 1,300 condominium and hotel units, 29,000 square feet of commercial space and restaurants, and a 132,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure and Aquatic Center. The center would house water slides, a lazy river, a surfing simulator, a ropes course, a zip line, rock climbing, and an arcade. Plans for a bobsled-like coaster called the Timberline Twister, although not part of the village project, are also in the works.
The project has some local residents concerned. “The character of Squaw would change tremendously if this is built, it would be a completely different place,” said Judy Carini, a 37-year Squaw Valley resident. “We would have traffic all the time.”
The proposed expansion plan would be built over the next 12 to 15 years.
So concerned are Carini and other Squaw homeowners about the project that they recently formed the Friends of Squaw Valley, whose mission is to advocate for “environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and aesthetically compatible development in Squaw Valley while preserving its community character.” Members of the group announced its formation at a packed community meeting last Thursday where the project was being discussed.
Some residents are worried about Squaw’s plans to do away with the members’ locker room and alter day skier parking. “I am really worried they are changing this to a Disneyland resort with nothing for the locals,” said Ed Heneveld, a doctor who has lived in Squaw Valley for more than 30 years.
Squaw says its goal is to transition away from day skiers to destination skiers, which resort officials say is necessary to reduce traffic. “Almost every skier experience involves a car; everyone comes in the morning and leaves in the afternoon,” said Chevis Hosea, vice president of development for Squaw Valley Real Estate LLC, which is owned by KSL Capital Partners, Squaw’s owner since 2010. “This will smooth traffic flows.”
Squaw also hopes the project will turn the ski area into a year-round destination resort, which they say will make the village — which has struggled in the summer months — into an economically viable one.
25 November 2012
14 November 2012
December 1, 2012
The Resort at Squaw Creek
5pm to 7pm
Not to be missed! If you are interested in the development plans that are taking place at Squaw Valley and you want to enjoy an evening connecting with friends then don’t miss the SVPOA Fall Mixer.
The plans for development are before the Placer County Supervisors and the Planning Board. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery and Alex Fitsch, Placer County Project Manager will give a presentation and hold a discussion on the subject of Squaw Valley’s proposed development project.
This is a great way to stay informed and get involved! For more information on the evening’s events please click on the link below. Hope to see you there!