Renovation Into New Arts Development

Built in 1936, the first Las Vegas elementary school was a rare example of Mission-style architecture. Over the years, the building had undergone previous tenant improvements, until its final rehabilitation and reuse into a cultural center. Retaining its historic character, the facility is now home to the University of Nevada Las Vegas Downtown Design Studio, the Nevada School of the Arts, and other cultural offerings.

IMEG provided structural engineering design services, along with construction documents and administration, for the historic restoration.

The cast-in-place concrete walls were still in good condition. The wood-framed roofs of the multiple buildings had been deemed structurally unacceptable by the feasibility engineers preceding the IMEG team. IMEG’s project scope included producing construction documents that were reflective of the previous report.

IMEG noted, however, that even though the wood joists were overstressed by today’s design standards, the joists did not appear to be distressed. They were in good shape and were barely deflecting under the weight of the tile roof. Measuring the deflection of several joists and using reverse engineering, IMEG determined the approximate wood grade, which was better than that of modern day lumber. Working with a wood expert, he confirmed IMEG’s analysis and recommended reusing the wood. Saving the roof framing made the project financially viable.

City of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency - Historic Fifth Street School
Las Vegas, NV
26,000-sf adaptive reuse
Services Provided

Structural, Construction Administration