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City Schools ask for patience amid remodel

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By Ryan Lowery

With a new school year less than two weeks away, construction is still in progress on Los Niños Elementary.
Most recently, crews have been working on paving new parking lots and adding a drop-off loop that parents and buses can access from Mountain View Drive.

“We’re going to have some shaded areas where busses can drop kids off, and where parents can drop their children off,” said Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Kelt Cooper.

The paving project has taken longer than expected, however. Cooper attributes this to the monsoon rainfall Las Vegas received in July. The rain has also drawn attention to leaking windows and skylights, which are going to be repaired or replaced.

School starts for all City Schools students on Monday, Aug. 20.

“I’m really appealing to our parents to have patience as we move forward on this project,” Cooper said. “I’ve done a lot of retrofitting and remodeling. What’s really tough about retrofitting schools of any age is the drawings are typically not current or accurate. We find all sorts of mistakes — especially (with) underground (mapping).”

Some of the underground mistakes crews discovered at Los Niños were improperly laid sewer lines that will likely have to be relocated, and gas lines that weren’t buried deep enough and will probably have to be replaced.

While a lot of work will take place underground, the exterior will receive a noticeable upgrade in the form of a new entrance, which has been designed to provide better security, with a reception desk inside the door.

Overall, the inside of Los Niños will see significant upgrades as well. Classrooms will be added, the kitchen will be upgraded, and the cafeteria will be expanded.

It’s a big undertaking, and the entire project will likely continue through next summer, which is likely to cause some inconveniences for students and teachers this school year.

As certain aspects of the remodel are completed, some students will be moved into portable buildings that will be located outside near the main building. When one section of the remodel is finished, students will be moved back into regular classrooms and another group of students will move into the portable buildings.

“It’s going to be musical chairs for a while,” Cooper said. “This is the only way. The project is too big to accomplish in one summer.”