August 2008 

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Sustainability Efforts Continue With Renovations To Historic Fifth Street School

When the Historic Fifth Street School re-opens this summer, it will look much like it did when it served as a school from 1936 - 1966. There will be one exception, however, and that is the addition of desert landscaping.

As part of the renovation to the building, the city replaced grass that was in front of the school with rock and desert vegetation that uses much less water. The city benefits not only from the reduced amount of water that the new landscape uses, but from some cash as well. The city’s Redevelopment Agency received a check in the amount of $27,000 from the Southern Nevada Water Authority as part of its Water Smart Landscape program.

The removal of turf isn’t the only sustainable or environmentally-friendly aspect of the renovated building. Energy efficient lighting and air conditioning systems have been installed at the school. Nevada Power’s Sure Bet Program is set to recognize these changes with a rebate check of about $10,000.

The renovated urban “cultural oasis” will officially re-open in September. The revitalized Spanish Mission-style building will include offices as well as various spaces such as a former gymnasium, gallery, courtyards and Centennial Plaza that will be available for rent for private and public events. The school will also house an assortment of local arts and architectural organizations including the Nevada School of the Arts, UNLV Downtown Design Center, the American Institute of Architecture and the city of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs.

Sustainability is a key initiative for the city and the city is constantly looking for new ways to protect the quality of life for our current and future generations. These activities include numerous "green" efforts such as constructing new buildings to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ® (LEED) standards, water conservation, recycling and greater energy efficiency, just to name a few.

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