North Las Vegas this past week approved the purchase of downtown land that will be home to what city officials are billing as an educational campus.
The city’s redevelopment agency on June 5 unanimously approved buying three parcels of land on Williams Avenue, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Las Vegas Boulevard North.
North Las Vegas intends to use the land to convert a closed school into a community space, as well as build a park and a library. The land cost about $320,000.
“I think this will be a wise investment for the entire valley,” said Ward 1 Councilman Isaac Barron at the meeting.
The project is part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown North Las Vegas. Officials hope developments such as the educational campus will spur more development nearby, but Ward 2 Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown also acknowledged the project is a need for the area.
“Our downtown area’s been lacking for quite a while now, and so I think this is just going to be absolutely amazing for our residents to see our new brand, our new downtown area,” Goynes-Brown said.
The entire project, including road improvements, is expected to cost about $15 million, according to the city. Chief of Staff Delen Goldberg said it will primarily be paid for by grants, but the city would welcome private donations.
Redevelopment agency money will pay for the land, but Goldberg said the city doesn’t anticipate using any general fund money on the project.
The planned 10,000-square-foot library is about 90 percent through the design process, Goldberg said. It’s expected to open in 2021.
North Las Vegas also plans to rehabilitate the closed Washington Continuation School. The city is still determining exactly how the space will be used, but the idea is to create a flexible community space that preserves the history of the school.
A planned park for the area will also contain an interactive, educational component so visitors can learn about the city, Goynes-Brown said.
Goynes-Brown said she expects the park and school building to open in 2023 or 2024.