In 1923, one of Las Vegas’ first schools was built west of downtown Las Vegas, in an area today known as the Westside.
Originally a single-story, Mission-Revival concrete building, The Las Vegas Grammar School was added on to in 1928, in 1948, and again in 1960.
Over the years, attendance at the Westside School was primarily Native Americans, Hispanics and the predominant African-American community in the surrounding neighborhood.
That neighborhood sits roughly between Rancho Drive and I-15 between Carey Avenue and Bonanza Road.
In 1978, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and was recognized for its role in the heritage of Black citizens and their community.
As the Boulder Dam project took off in the 1930s followed by the burgeoning casino industry in the 1940s, racial discrimination increased. While many industries were blossoming, many in the African-American community felt forced out of that growth.
Now that Las Vegas' oldest school is undergoing a restoration, it is a key role in the Westside revitalization efforts.
Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow said the $15 million project is an extension of what's been done along Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"The revitalization of this area is really coming on strong," Barlow said. "I'm really doing all I can to bring the businesses and the residents...back into this area."
The building will house retail, office and residential space similiar to popular shopping areas like Town Square and The District in Green Valley.
Barlow said beside the school spurring growth it will also be important as a place for future generations to enjoy.
Ricki Barlow, Las Vegas City Councilman
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