CCSD looking at innovative ways to get more classroom space - 8 News NOW

CCSD looking at innovative ways to get more classroom space

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LAS VEGAS -- From adding portables to more year-round schools, Clark County educators are looking for more places to educate students with the ultimate goal to ease overcrowding.

With 318,000 students, the Clark County School district is more than 20,000 students above capacity. That is equivalent to more than 10 new elementary schools.

Only, the district doesn't have the schools to house those students. The district is now looking at several options to find classroom space, including some inventive ones.

“We've had developers reach out to us regarding abandoned grocery stores, abandoned strip malls and the feasibility of putting a school in one of those,” district Chief Financial Officer Jim McIntosh said.

Another innovative option is using school district land or new lots.

“We've had groups offer us parcels of land in areas where they're beginning to develop houses but they're also offering to build the school for us to our standard and to provide some sort of alternative financing mechanism for us and not begin charging us the lease buy back on the school until the school is actually complete,” McIntosh said.

However, McIntosh says the biggest roadblock is money, money to renovate strip malls or even build a school from the ground up.

It is why CCSD is hoping to educate voters on the dire need for a bond question on the 2016 ballot. Even then, they need every stakeholders support.

“We're looking for assistance from our bond oversight committee, the school board, the district as well as the community. These are situations and problems that we as a district aren't going to be able to solve ourselves. We're going to need help from the community,” Richard James Baldwin director of demographics, zoning and geographic information systems for the district said.

School board members welcome ideas.

“I'm still keeping things open. We have our own thoughts, but it's interesting that a thought that you have today and by the time everything rolls out may be a different kind of configuration,” trustee Linda Young said.

The CCSD says the most important long-term solution on the table right now is the 2016 bond question, asking voters for money to build new schools.

However, voters turned down a request for money to build schools in the 2012 election.

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