West Career and Technical Academy opens in Summerlin

West Career and Technical Academy opened its school doors to 750 freshman and sophomore students for the 2010-2011 school year Aug. 30, becoming the 26th school in the master-planned community of Summerlin. The $83.5 million school, which will eventually house 1,350 students, is located on 42 acres in Summerlin Centre West at 11945 W. Charleston Blvd.

West CTA, the last of five career and technical academies built by the Clark County School District, provides students with a project-based learning environment that focuses on green sciences, including biotechnology and pre-professional (medical and veterinarian), environmental sciences and natural resources, civil and environmental engineering, management information system and computer animation, certified nursing and sports medicine and business management.

The 224,884-square-foot school features environmentally friendly design and construction evident in such details as solar panels, natural lighting, a ground heat source exchange system with individually controlled heat pumps for each room, four green houses, the state’s only fully automated growth chamber for vegetation, a computerized weather station, dozens of labs and a wireless campus.

According to Monte Bay, principal, these amenities enhance the schools green design while providing actual hands-on learning labs for the students. “It’s the best of both worlds,” he said.

“There isn’t a better location for West CTA,” said Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin.

“Summerlin is an educationally focused, environmentally astute community full of resources and opportunities for students interested in the health and environmental science industries. To say we’re pleased to have this extraordinary school in Summerlin is an understatement.”

West CTA has developed partnerships to enhance interactive learning opportunities with Summerlin businesses and organizations including Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, Nevada Cancer Institute and Friends of Red Rock Canyon, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Additional partnerships are in the works, according to Bay.

“These partnerships underscore the community’s support of West CTA,” Bay said. “We’ve definitely received a warm welcome in Summerlin.”

West CTA is the 12th school operated by the Clark County School District in Summerlin, but is the first and only magnet school in the community to date. In addition to the 12 public schools operated by CCSD, Summerlin is also home to 14 private schools.

Developed by The Howard Hughes Corp., an affiliate of General Growth Properties Inc., Summerlin is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration that commenced in May 2010.

Located along the western rim of the Las Vegas Valley, Summerlin encompasses 22,500 acres with 7,500 acres still remaining to accommodate future growth within the master plan.

The community is currently home to nearly 100,000 residents with amenities including more than 150 neighborhood and village parks, more than 150 completed miles of the Summerlin trail system, nine golf courses, a dozen houses of worship, shopping centers, medical and cultural facilities, business parks and 75 selling floor plans.

Homes are available in a variety of styles — from single-family homes to townhomes, condominiums and lofts — priced from the high $100,000s to more than $2 million. Custom-home sites in The Ridges are priced from the $500,000s. Luxury apartment homes offer monthly rents starting from the $800s.

For more information on Summerlin, visit summerlin.com, call 791-4500 or become a fan of Summerlin on Facebook.

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