The College of Southern Nevada is asking for money during the upcoming state legislature to move forward with a longstanding northwest Las Vegas campus project.
The community college wants to build a roughly 40-acre campus on Elkhorn Road and Grand Montecito Parkway in the fast-growing Centennial Hills. He already has land.
The population and development of the area continued to grow. And college officials say the opportunity to graduate closer to home will benefit students.
“In terms of education, the needs in this area only continue to intensify,” said CSN President Federico Zaragoza.
The college is seeking $5.2 million in public funding through Nevada Higher Education System Overhaul Requests 2023-2025. CSN will provide $1.1 million in matching funds.
The money will be used to design and plan the construction of the first campus building and site infrastructure.
With over 30,000 students, the college currently has three main campuses: West Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.
About 9,700 students from Las Vegas Northwest study at CSN, Zaragoza said.
Efforts to open a campus in northwest Las Vegas have spanned nearly two decades.
In 2006, the process of transferring land from the city of Las Vegas to the college began. The transfer of the land patent was completed in 2018 through the Bureau of Land Management.
In 2017, the Las Vegas City Council approved a development agreement with the Nevada Higher Education System on behalf of CSN. A start date for the construction of the new campus has not been set.
CSN has requested funds for state planning four times. Construction must begin by at least 2026, Zaragoza said, or risk losing property.
A 2017 agreement with the city stated that the college must begin construction of at least “one academic building” within eight years of the transfer of federal land.
Zaragoza said the project has some momentum and he thinks it will be a legislative session where it will move forward. The session starts February 6th.
“Now there is a sense of urgency that will hopefully help us cross the line,” he said.
The project was also mentioned in Mayor Caroline Goodman’s “State of the City” speech this month.
What the campus will offer
The college offers seven buildings on the northwest campus when it is developed.
According to James McCoy, CSN’s vice president of academic affairs, students will be able to take all general education courses on campus.
In addition, each existing main campus has a CSN Dual Credit High School that allows students to receive high school and college credit at the same time.
Zaragoza said the campus in the northwest will open up early college opportunities for residents in the area.
In addition to academic programs, the campus will offer workforce components that match the needs of this geographic area, Zaragoza said. This may include, for example, health programs.
CSN also wants to consolidate its public safety programs, including police, fire and ambulance services, under a “center of excellence” that will be located on the new campus.
The college is currently leasing space on Water Street in downtown Henderson for its Southern Desert Regional Police Academy in partnership with other agencies.
In addition, the concept of a possible mortuary science program that would become part of the center is in its infancy, McCoy said.