weather icon Clear

New school, challenges await students in 2017

Boulder City High School will welcome students Jan. 2 to a new administration building and new classrooms. It has been a long time coming.

A bond was approved by the voters in 1997; Phase One, a new gymnasium, was completed in 2005 and Phase Two is now completed. It took many years. Phases Three and Four are yet to come.

It may be noted that the first improvement to the Boulder City Junior-Senior High School was the building of a contemporary-design theater in 1962, which was funded by the Ford Foundation. Boulder City schools were apparently still in charge of their own affairs at that time; the schools were incorporated into the Clark County School District in 1958. Historically, the Boulder City School District was created by Clark County commissioners in 1933. The original Boulder City Junior-Senior High school, located on Fifth Street at California Avenue, was completed in 1952. It was a beautiful school with open corridors for lockers and for walking from classroom to classroom. There were no gates; the school belonged to everyone.

However, those free and easy times could not last forever because of the violence that had crept into the culture and the attendant dangers to vulnerable aggregations of students and teachers, administrators and staff.

For example, in 2012, NPR Radio observed that “some schools in cities like Detroit, San Francisco and Cleveland are struggling to make a safer environment for their students.”

Las Vegas could easily be included in that list and, in response, the Clark County School District built its new schools to provide protection — no windows, locked gates, protected entrances. Boulder City High School became a closed campus.

But, as part of the CCSD, Boulder City High School lost more than just its openness.

Boulder City High School’s website reports: “Because Boulder City schools had been better-equipped than most public schools in the county, when Clark County School District took over, the schools in Boulder City were not allowed to upgrade their equipment until the rest of the county caught up. Some equipment from Boulder City High School was taken to other Clark County schools.”

But, how can a school within a district, as large and disparate as the CCSD became over the years, even begin to close the gap between the best and the worst? BCHS has taken a beating, in many ways, as a result of the effort. However, when it came to the plans for a new high school to replace the senior-junior high built in 1958, the teachers, parents and members of the community raised their voices in opposition to the district’s plan.

The entrance to the school to be built on Avenue G? No flag pole in front of the school at California Avenue and Fifth Street? The school turning its back to the Bureau of Reclamation administration building at the north end of California? No windows, when research shows that a mix of natural and artificial light creates the best environment for learning?

After the meetings and negotiations were concluded, the answer was “No! No! No! No!” The voice of the community had prevailed.

The excellence that characterized the Boulder City schools until they came under the control of what would become an enormous central district, found a voice in the school and the community that will hopefully remain a force in the years to come.

Who knows what the legislation to break up the CCSD signed by the governor in June 2015 will bring, but above all, the students who enter BCHS on Jan. 2 must meet the challenge of making the academic world inside the walls of the new school worthy of the facilities that have been built for them. It is time to connect the new BCHS to the standards set when it was part of the Boulder City School District.

Susan Stice McIntyre is a native of Boulder City and Boulder City High School graduate. She holds degrees in English and English literature, is a columnist for numerous publications and is currently co-authoring an English conversation textbook.

A story of reconciliation amidst division

I keep going into the week when it is time for me to write a column with an idea that I know I want to write about but events keep pushing that idea further out into the future.

Who did more for veterans?

Did President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump do more for America’s veterans? It all depends how one keeps score: Introduce laws? Pass laws? Do large things, or many small things? Important things, or things that were not so important?Below are two examples according to Military.com.

Holy smokes!

Two weeks ago on June 25, I received messages from panicked individuals at the Elks Lodge RV Park stating that the Boulder City Fire Department had been conducting a controlled burn that had gotten out of control.

July is PR Month

For nearly 40 years, the nation has celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

July 4 safety and awareness checklist

As we celebrate our great nation’s birthday, let’s run down this safety and awareness checklist so we can have a blast this 4th… but only the good kind.

“Be Kind, Be Boulder” this Fourth of July

Happy Birthday, America! Today, we celebrate an act of autonomy and sovereignty that happened in 1776, nearly 250 years ago: the Founding Fathers signing of the Declaration of Independence established this great nation. (It would be another 155 years before Boulder City’s founders arrived to construct Hoover Dam!)

Ensuring fire safety at Lake Mead

At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, our mission extends beyond preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Independence Day in Boulder City

I was elected to the Boulder City council long ago. Believe me, there were more exciting events that occurred during city council meetings in the mid-to-late 1980s than there are at present. We had Skokie Lennon who arrived in the council meetings while standing at the back of the room. When he had something to say he would erupt with the statement “can you hear me?” Of course we could since he was the loudest person in the room. He would say what he had to say and then leave.

Nothing to fear

A June 13 letter by Norma Vally claimed Pride Month in Boulder City is an example of identity politics that will cause divisiveness in our safe, kind, and welcoming town. I cannot disagree more.

Save me some confetti eggs

In last week’s edition, I wrote a preview of the upcoming July 4 celebration and described Boulder City’s biggest day of the year as if a Norman Rockwell painting had come alive and jumped off the canvas. I had a few people praise me for that description, saying it’s the perfect way to do so.