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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Las Vegas' oldest school looking for a few good stories...

I completely stumbled across this press release from the City of Las Vegas regarding the Historic Westside School. I knew that the school had received historic designation from the Historic Preservation Commission recently but it is nice to see them take the next step and engage the community in such a great way. It reminds me very much of what the city had done in the preservation of the Historic 5th Street School on 4th.
Here is the press release in its entirety...

Open House At Oldest School In Las Vegas An Open Call To Be Part Of History
Stories Sought On The History Of The Westside Grammar School Along With Ideas For Its Future

An open house on Saturday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the oldest school in Las Vegas, is also an open call to be part of history. Students, teachers or anyone who has stories to share about the beloved school located at 330 West Washington Ave. is welcome to attend the open house and participate in an oral history. Visitors will also have the opportunity to share ideas on the future of the historic school. The school has been awarded a plaque from the National Register that will be unveiled at the open house.

The city of Las Vegas has been awarded $550,000 from the Las Vegas Centennial Commission for structural, mechanical and electrical surveys of the Westside School site, and for development of a restoration and program plan for the school.

“Preserving this historic school is important because it will serve to culturally enrich our community,” said Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow, who represents this area of Las Vegas. “Lessons learned from the past help us to set our sights and accomplish where we need to be in the future. By preserving this historic building we are leaving something for future generations and that is something to be proud of.”

The Las Vegas Grammar School Branch No. 1, now known as the Historic Westside School, was built in 1923. The building was the first grammar school in West Las Vegas and is the oldest remaining schoolhouse in Las Vegas. In the 1940s, the school expanded to accommodate a growing population and was important in the development of the Westside. Today, the building is home to KCEP radio, serves as a community center and offices for the Economic Opportunity Board.

Those who can’t attend the open house, but who would like to share their memories, photos or ideas can visit Councilman Barlow’s Web page on the city’s Web site or call 229-1330 to learn how to participate. The Westside School is another page in Ward 5 history: historic, proud and progressive.

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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