52°F
weather icon Light Rain

North Las Vegas Planning Commission approves charter schools

Somerset Academy is well on its way to becoming the first charter school in North Las Vegas located inside of a vacant commercial property.

At its April 13 meeting, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission voted 6-0 to allow Florida-based Academica Schools a special-use permit for the empty 20-acre commercial property at 405 W. Centennial Parkway.

Commissioner Jay Aston was not present at the meeting.

The K-8 school is expected to open this fall. Enrollment is scheduled to begin in May.

A handful of parents at the meeting voiced support for the school, citing the desire to keep their children close to home, the ability to fill an empty building with something sustainable and to have options when making the decision on where to send their children for schooling.

As they have from the beginning, officials with the Clark County School District Police Department expressed concerns regarding children’s safety in the parking lot.

They voiced support in occupying a building that “had become an eyesore” and plans to attract business to the financially strapped city.

However, police officials also pointed out neighboring fast-food restaurants and a gas station that could pose a slight threat to public safety in addition to an increase in foot and vehicular traffic around the area as students will be dropped off by their guardians .

But parents at the meeting said they felt safer dropping off and picking up their own children rather than trusting a public school bus.

“I don’t think we get a lot of new schools,” said Dilip Trivedi, who chairs the planning commission. “In our valley, education is not on the top of the list for everybody.

“I think, more than anything, the support was for repurposing existing buildings that are empty and making good use of them.”

Trivedi suggested that the school hire crossing guards as safety and traffic issues arise.

In the event of budget cuts, the school should not put those positions on the chopping block so that safety does not become an issue, he added.

The applicant is expected to provide a traffic study to the city’s department of public works.

Commissioner Jo Cato said she supported the school because the city “needs to kick it up a notch in terms of education in North Las Vegas.

“With the school district the way it is, who knows where that’s going?” she said at the meeting. “There are 50 students to a class — that’s crazy. … There are not enough teachers.”

The North Las Vegas City Council granted its final approval of the zoning amendment at its March 16 meeting.

By approving the ordinance, North Las Vegas joins Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson in allowing charter schools in commercial areas.

For more information about the school, visit online at somersetacademyoflas
vegas.com/index.php.

Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@viewnews.com or 383-0492.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]

EXECUTIVE TRAVEL: Forget Strip flash; some prefer lake’s panache

If you get called to a board meeting at Lake Las Vegas, you might want to bring your swimsuit. That’s the term Westin at Lake Las Vegas marketing director Matt Boland uses for upright paddleboard races, one of many team-building exercises offered regularly at the resort.

After $4,700 in live poker career winnings, James Romero, 27, wins nearly $2 million

It was a 15-year celebration of The World Poker Tour at Bellagio for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The largest field size in WPT Five Diamond’s history was created when 791 entries were tallied, and it was James Romero, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who won his first WPT title.

Auto electronics at SEMA and AAPEX: A brave new world

The Specialty Equipment Market Association celebrated its 50th annual SEMA show at Las Vegas Convention Center this month by showcasing a car culture of “do-it-yourself” garage mechanics who share a passion for customizing vehicles.