Planned education center will be open to K-12 students in Mesquite
Through a $2 million grant from the Charles and Phyllis M. Frias Charitable Trust, Mesquite Works has assumed ownership of the Mesquite Shopping Center on Mesquite Boulevard. The purpose of the grant will be to establish a “STEAM Center” for the youth of Mesquite.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Agriculture and Math. Open to K-12 students, the Center will provide free classes featuring hands-on instruction in a variety of subjects and coordinated with local educators. In addition to the classrooms, plans include a clubhouse where student groups can meet, and other facilities will be implemented as needed.
George Gault, chair of Mesquite Works, made the announcement along with the representatives of the Frias Trust, John H. Mowbry and Jack R. Hanifan. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students in Mesquite made possible by the Frias Trust,” said Gault.
The STEAM Center has received over $220,000 in private contributions, which will be used to remodel the shopping center. The existing tenants will be asked to stay after the center is remodeled and the classrooms will occupy the currently vacant spaces on the west side of the building.
“The community will not only get the educational opportunity for our children but will also get a newly remodeled shopping center which will enhance the appearance of Mesquite Boulevard,” said Gault.
Mesquite Works and the Frias Trust have been working for several months on the project and establishing the goals for the education center. Several Mesquite Works board members have participated in the project including Riley Frei, principal of Virgin Valley High School; Darlene McCauley, superintendent of Littlefield School District; Hal Mortenson, principal of Moapa Valley High School; and Darlene Montague and Clarissa Coda of College of Southern Nevada.
Mesquite Works is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation that has provided job assistance to residents of Mesquite since 2015. The organization has office space in the Mesquite Shopping Center by the Virgin Valley Family Services thrift store and food bank.