Historic Westside School Rededication Brings Community Together Aug. 27

Elected Officials And Community Residents Will Gather At 9:30 A.M.

 

Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow and other elected officials will gather with community residents to rededicate the Historic Westside School Saturday, Aug. 27, at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. The school’s two buildings are located at 330 and 350 W. Washington Ave. in West Las Vegas. Parking on school grounds will be restricted to invited guests with a parking pass and those with a handicapped parking placard; others are invited to park in available spaces on the surrounding streets.

 

The Historic Westside School $12.5 million renovation was completed this summer. Work began in January 2015 to return the original four-classroom building to its 1923 appearance inside and out, but repurposed as potential meeting rooms, offices and exhibit space. The 1948 annex building now looks as it did when it was built. But modern improvements, such as natural gas-powered air conditioning, up-to-date electrical wiring, insulated windows, a secured repaved parking lot with 16 covered parking spaces, three electric car charging stations and three bike racks, have replaced the chalkboards and desks.

 

More than 160 construction workers labored for 18 months on improvements. Plans for restoring the historic school began as early as 2005, but were hampered by a lack of funds. Refurbishing the school involved painstaking historical research, allowing developers to restore floors, windows and walls to their original look. Lighting fixtures no longer available had to be duplicated and approved by historic preservation experts from the Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission, the State Historical Preservation Office and the National Parks Service, since the school is included on the city of Las Vegas Historic Property Register and the state and National Register of Historic Places. The same was true for the school’s entrance doors and built-in cabinets. Old carpet, padding and tiles were removed to reveal the school’s original Douglas fir wooden flooring, and the complex’s exteriors were returned to their original mint green.

“I have so looked forward to this day,” said Councilman Barlow. “The renovation of these historic buildings is a project the Westside community has worked on for many years. There is still work to be done, but having these buildings ready to serve the community once again is a milestone for us.”

 

The structures closed as a school in 1966, although the buildings have been used for other purposes since. Today KCEP Power 88 radio station and Tech Impact, a nonprofit corporation that provides information technology job training for urban young adults, have leased space in the school. However, there is still space available to lease in both buildings.

 

The entire 2.84-acre school complex was renovated, including the 5,333-square-foot, Mission Revival-style 1923 building; the 11,600-square-foot, Ranch-style annex building and courtyard; parking lot and grounds. The city currently is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification for the buildings, as well as seeking new tenants for the available spaces. Call 702-229-6551 or email sauyong@lasvegasnevada.govfor more information on what is available to lease.

 

The cost for renovating the historical structures was funded by the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial, the city of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency and the city of Las Vegas, which also made use of $4 million in gap financing supplied via a federal program called New Markets Tax Credits. See more about this historic rehabilitation by viewing a brief video at https://youtu.be/X08st3zGHYk.

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