I-Team: Groundbreaking for new library highlights once doomed trees

LAS VEGAS - A five-year effort to save some dying trees has given birth to a much larger project for residents of east Las Vegas.

Thursday, ground was broken for a sprawling, state-of-the-art library complex on the east side of the Las Vegas valley.

It all started a few years ago when the I-Team started questioning some trees that were left to die.

The trees were towering pines, half-a-century old, situated on three plots of land near Bonanza Road and 28th Street.

For various reasons, they were essentially abandoned. Not anymore. The pine trees were on land owned by the housing authority. The land was fenced in and the water cut off. Dozens of the big beautiful trees died. The I-Team raised a ruckus about it, and city Councilman Bob Coffin, who's lived in east Las Vegas most of his life, jumped in.

Coffin not only coaxed the housing authority into taking better care of the trees, he got city staff to engineer a master plan involving multiple land swaps involving the city, school district, housing authority, and natural history museum.

Today, ground was broken for a $20 million library complex that will become a cultural anchor for what has been an under-served community. And the trees are a key part of the master plan.

"The trees signified something. It brought attention to this real estate and made it possible for us to revive it, because there was no plan to do anything with it. It is maybe more profound than a game changer, it is life changing," Coffin said.

He, along with Mayor Carolyn Goodman and other parties, described the library as an economic and educational game changer for east Las Vegas. It will be a learning center, cultural resource, technology hub, and will have a workforce component to help people find jobs.  

East Las Vegas is a lower-income area with 90 percent Hispanic residents, many of whom were in the audience to cheer the news.

State lawmakers also helped make this happen by authorizing creative tax credits that attracted private dollars to fund the project. This is a major boost to that entire part of town. 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • #OurPain
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Turkey-Thon
  • Vegas Strong 5K/1-Mile
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Politics Now
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Connect with 8 News NOW
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center