Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2018

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Recreation, education joined

When the first senior class of Summerlin's Palo Verde High School graduates in the spring of 2000, many students undoubtedly will look back on three great years of recreational activities.

That will be thanks in a large part to a $62 million school/sports complex announced Thursday.

The 60-acre site, to be called The Arbors Park, will include the almost finished school, an Olympic size swimming pool, several ball fields and a community center.

The comprehensive recreational project, in the foothills of area mountains, was made possible by combined efforts of the Clark County School District, city of Las Vegas and Howard Hughes Corp., developer of the ever-burgeoning master-planned Summerlin community.

"This will be one of the (valley's) great facilities," said Summerlin President Dan Van Epp.

He was joined Thursday by Councilman Arnie Adamsen and Assistant School Superintendent Leonard Paul at a wind-whipped and bitterly cold outdoor stake-driving ceremony in the shadow of the school that will open in the fall at Alta Drive and Husite Drive in The Arbors Village subdivision.

Summerlin is contributing about $7 million and 18 acres of land to the recreational project, including a park and two softball fields that will be built by Howard Hughes Corp. but maintained by the city.

The developer also will build the huge swimming pool, a bath house and a playground that also will be maintained by the city. In effect, Palo Verde will become just the second Southern Nevada high school to have a pool, and the first to have one outdoors.

Basic High in Henderson has long had the district's only high school pool, an indoor facility used by all of the area's schools for swim meets.

"This will be the anchor of The Arbors," said Adamsen, announcing a $5 million community center for the site. "This concentrated effort really is great for the kids."

The 40,000-square-foot community center is being designed by Summerlin, but will be built and paid for by the city.

It will house a gymnasium, shower facilities and areas for each of the four divisions of the city's Parks and Leisure Activities Department: recreation, adaptive recreation, cultural activities and senior programs.

Paul and Van Epp noted that eventually a high-tech computer center for a branch of the Community College of Southern Nevada also will be built on the site.

Palo Verde's freshmen class this year is using the Bonanza High School campus but will go to the new campus in the fall.

The first classes at the new school will be limited to freshmen and sophomores. Johnson Junior High and Becker Middle School graduating classes will attend Palo Verde next year. Those students otherwise would have gone to Bonanza or Cimarron-Memorial.

Palo Verde High, to be built at a cost of about $50 million, will feature a sprawling, tree-lined 42-acre campus complete with a football field, baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and a soccer field.

The school will draw 2,700 students ranging from affluent and mostly white Summerlin to decaying and predominantly black West Las Vegas.

Paul said the zoning for the school, which also will draw students from neighborhoods near Lake Mead Boulevard at U.S. 95, is in line with the district's attempt to create "a racial balance" for its learning centers.