This small Mission Revival building designed by the Southern California firm of Allison and Allison first served Paiute Indian and, later, African American children in Las Vegas. It remains the city's oldest surviving school building. The reinforced concrete and stucco structure originally had two rooms, one on each side of the gabled entrance. In 1928 two more rooms were added at the rear.
In 1948, the school was substantially expanded by Las Vegas architect A. Lacy Worswick to include the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in eight new classrooms in a courtyard building adjoining the original structure. This annex was constructed of concrete blocks in a compatible style. In 1967, the school closed and was purchased by the Economic Opportunity Board; it was subsequently leased to other agencies. Efforts to preserve the school began with its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, but it was not until 2005 that the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission began to raise funds to ensure the school's future. In 2010, the city began public outreach and master plan discussions. The following year KME Architects of Las Vegas were hired to provide a master plan that included a meeting space and exhibit space for historical exhibits, plus some retail and office spaces. The architects respected the historical integrity of the building while introducing modern improvements such as natural gas air conditioning and upgraded electrical wiring, as well as providing parking spaces and electric car-charging spaces. The $12.4 million renovation was funded by the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial, the City of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency, and the City of Las Vegas. A tangible reminder of the city's early educational history, it has been transformed into a twenty-first-century office and meeting space for the West Side neighborhood. And perhaps it will provide a bridge between this neglected area and the revitalized downtown to the east.
"Historic Westside School - 1923 Building." KME Architects. Accessed January 26, 2020. https://www.kmearchitects.com.
"Historic Westside School History." City of Las Vegas files. Accessed January 26, 2020. file:///C:/Users/cberk/Downloads/Historic_Westside_School_History_2016.pdf
Kurtz, Margaret. "City Of Las Vegas Historic Westside School To Be Honored With APWA 2018 Public Works Project Of The Year Award." Press Release, City of Las Vegas. May 3, 2018.
Munks, Jamie. "$12.5M Restoration of Las Vegas’ 1st Public School Wraps Up." Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 26, 2016.