On Feb. 24, the auto and industrial arts shop at Pahranagat Valley High School was severely damaged by an accidental fire. No injuries occurred, but the facility was left unusable, suffering a lot of water damage.
Since that time school principal Mike Strong has worked to “use some of the insurance money and the district has worked really hard in coming forward with some capital improvement money that we had budgeted for other projects and we put those projects as a district on hold until we can get this one up and running. We have been making every effort we can to get a shop back down here again.”
Pearson Brothers Construction is the general contractor and prepared the 100 by 200 foot concrete slab and is currently putting up the steel frame building. Strong said shop teacher Rob Hansen and maintenance worker Ken Back with help possibly from some of the students construction classes to work on framing the inside of the walls as well as a classroom, bathrooms, store room, utility room office and help with other work in completing the shop. The plumbing, electrical and heating and air conditioning work will be contracted out.
Strong said there had been plans already in mind for needing a new facility at the high school and when the fire happened, “we discussed whether to refurbish the old one or go with a new one.”
The larger size of the building, Strong explained, including about six bays, “is because we also run the southern transportation out of here, meaning we do all the busses for the south here. Hansen was having to do that outside before, but now we’ll be able to move them inside (out of the weather). The problem before was space. There was a welding shop, an automotive shop, a woodworking shop, but it was all jammed in there really tight. This new and added space will provide more safety as well.”
Strong said some Career Tech Education grants and Carl Perkins grants, plus others will help with supplying the shop with some of the tools and equipment that was lost in the fire. “We are also waiting to see what the insurance is going to come up with to what is needed and hopefully the state will issue us money to a certain extent to be of help. Clark County has been real big in helping us out with extra stuff they’ve had. And other places around the state have also been willing to help.”
Since school began, Hansen has been holding classes quite a bit up at the Ambulance Barn in Alamo and working on and servicing the local EMS vehicles. “We’re still running Panther Automotive,” Strong said, “with a number of other things just being done in classroom settings.”
Strong thanked the school district and the community for coming together to “do what’s right for the kids and make a nice, high functioning facility and program of which there is a need in this community.”
If all goes well, the new facility might be ready for use in January or February.