Editor's note: This article initially indicated the groundbreaking would occur on January 21. It has since been updated to January 17.
It seems West Las Vegas is finally getting some love. January 17 at 11 a.m., Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow break ground on the rehabilitation of the Historic Westside School, a $12.5 million undertaking that will transform the schoolhouse into a buzzing community center for West Las Vegas.
It comes on the heels of the December 12 reopening of the F Street underpass, which was controversially closed in 2008, blocking off the historically black neighborhood.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the schoolhouse is the oldest in Las Vegas and significant to the fabric of the city. Opening as the first branch of the Las Vegas Grammar School in 1923, the schoolhouse eventually became the first to integrate students and also the first to educate Native American students from the nearby Paiute tribe.
While not technically a renovation (restoring the school to its 1923 specs would limit its use as a “flexible community resource,” according to a City of Las Vegas release), the project will rehabilitate the structure, along with the 1948 annex to house office and retail spaces and the KCEP community radio station.