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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2008 awards



Entry number: B08039
Project Name: Historic Fifth Street School Renovation
Building Type: Educational
Completion Date: September 2008
Architect: KGA Architecture
Building Location: 401 S. 4th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101

Design Team:
Electrical Engineer: JBA Consulting Engineering
Landscape Architect: JW Zunino and Associates
General Contractor: Richardson Construction
Structural Engineer: Barker Drottar
Civil Engineer: VTN
Interior Designer: KGA Architecture
Photographer: Opulence Studios
Others on the team: Heritage Architecture

Statement of Design Approach:
The Historic Fifth Street School originally constructed in 1936, served as Las Vegas' first permanent Grammar School and is currently on the National Historic Register. The primary goal of the project was to return the exterior of the structure back to its original design and create viable tenant spaces to encourage new business to the downtown area. The renovated buildings are the new homes for the City of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency and Cultural Affairs, UNLV Architecture Department, Nevada School of the Arts, as well as the Las Vegas and Nevada chapters for the American Institute of Architects.

The original school consists of approximately 29,000 S.F. of space in multiple buildings connected by common roofs and breezeways. The newly renovated buildings are on the National Historic Register; therefore the requirements of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings have been followed.

This single story school campus occupies a full block between 4th and (then) 5th Street (now Las Vegas Blvd.) with the main entrance to the school facing 5th street, and the entrance to the gymnasium facing 4th Street. Both of these entrances were given special attention with archways and loggias. The buildings construction consists of poured-in-place concrete walls and tiled gable and hip roofs. Other architectural elements significant to the form of the building are arches, exterior columns (some with ornate capitals) and covered walkways. After extensive research, the exterior facades have been refinished to represent the color palette of the original building.

The layout of the complex consists of two wings that stretch out perpendicular to the main entrance and the gymnasium. This created internal courtyards which were important in the climatic concerns of the original design. Prior to the renovation most of the courtyard spaces were covered with pavement or concrete which were returned to the original tiled pavers. In addition, the mosaic tiled fountain was rebuilt and remains in the main courtyard.

The gymnasium, which was originally designed as the school auditorium, has been converted to be a multipurpose meeting space. The locker room areas are now galleries and can be used as additional flexible use spaces. These newly renovated spaces will be available for use by both the buildings patrons and the neighbors within the community.

The exterior of the buildings elements were rehabilitated to the original color and appearance. Including the recreation of the doors and windows, although they are adapted to utilize contemporary materials, including low-energy glass, modern locking hardware, etc. Additional modifications were made to comply with current structural, life safety, ADA and other code and regulation requirements.

Sustainable description:
The City of Las Vegas continued its commitment to the planet by developing new tenant spaces without adding another building to the environment. The 29,000 S.F. Fifth Street School complies with the intentions of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), by reusing the existing building, versus building a new structure, which created an effective strategy for minimizing environmental impacts. Through this rehabilitation strategy, waste volumes were reduced or diverted from the landfills and in conjunction reduced the environmental impacts associated with raw material extraction, manufacturing and transportation.

In Las Vegas, air conditioning is a necessity but also a big consumer of energy. Air conditioning controls in the school's classrooms and studios automatically reduce cooling when tenants are not present and reset to the desired temperature upon their return. Air quality sensors in densely occupied areas ensure that enough outside air is brought into every conditioned area. These advanced technologies, are beneficial to the overall energy savings plan of the buildings and their occupants.

The original architect called for the walls to be poured-in-place concrete providing an excellent mass insulation for the current design. The original single pane windows had all been covered by plywood and stucco by the previous occupants. These windows were uncovered, removed and replaced with insulating windows, carefully respecting the character, while adding back the natural daylight to the classrooms. The overhangs and thick walls ensure the rooms are cool while virtually eliminating the need for artificial light during the day.

Lighting fixture innovations were an important part of the school's lighting design program. The best overall results were achieved through an understanding of the utility function of the space, the intended ambiance of the lighting and the fixtures of choice. The result is attractive lighting that uses less energy and wattage. A master light switch is located next to each door, to conveniently turn off all the suite lights. In addition, sensors automatically shut off lights in areas when the space is unoccupied. The reengineered lighting throughout the school saves electricity annually.

The school campus is accessible by several alternative modes of transportation. Within a quarter-mile there are two bus stops, including a stop located on the property at a shelter designed to match the campus architecture. For those who prefer, the school has provided secure bicycle racks for both guests and employees.



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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:04 PST