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Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada

Awards Category

Unbuilt Architecture

Project Summary

Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada is a 40,000 SF interior remodel/re-purposing of an existing 1978 structure originally a grocery store, formerly a call center and most recently a health club. The building has been vacant over 4 years due to the closing of the health club and COVID. JASN is a non-profit organization providing financial literacy training, entrepreneur coaching, personal financial development and career development guidance for students from grade school thru college. Their building program is comprised of six main areas: Public Lobby/Check-in, Administration Offices, Career Center/Entrepreneur Hub, Finance Park, BizTown and Volunteer/ Support Areas. JASN’s objectives include re-using, as much as possible, the existing HVAC, lighting, plumbing fixtures, furniture, accessories and finishes. JASN wants a facility that conveys a professional academic/work environment yet being energized for students through color, graphics and real-life environments. JASN reaches 20,000 students annually with programs supported by more than 285 area businesses, 6,800 role models and 247,350 classroom volunteers.

Project Narrative

The Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada encompasses 40,000 SF of space divided into Administrative Offices (7,465 SF), Finance Park (9,800 SF), BizTown (10,500 SF), Multipurpose Room (3,000 SF), Career Center/Entrepreneur Hub (2,075 SF), Lobby/Check-In (4,160 SF) and Volunteer/Support Spaces (3,000 SF). JASN wants a facility that reflects a professional work environment as well as a “kid-friendly” environment that promotes their core values and attracts students from grade school thru high school. It should be as sustainable as possible and within a project budget of $130/SF (including soft costs, design costs, permits, and other fees). The exterior is limited by budget constraints and local zoning regulations to non-structural façade treatments of accent metal panels and paint. The new façade incorporates key JA colors, additional landscaping (to reduce heat island effect), parking canopies with solar panels and traffic bollards for students’ safety. The interior spaces are an exuberance of color, large scale graphics and technology to excite and energize students in a non-conventional learning environment. Finance Park is for high school programs and presents a professional team work environment in 15 co-work areas and 6 work station kiosks surrounding a central work and presentation area. Grade-school and middle-school students are separated in BizTown which features 20 “storefront” businesses arranged in a town square format encircling a city hall and city park. The tenant “storefronts” are designed and branded as individual businesses – supported by real-life business tenants from the region. The central Multi-Purpose Room is shared by the two student areas and can be configured as a group presentation space, seminar space or dining space for up to 300 persons. The Multi-Purpose Room is serviced by a catering kitchen for lunches and fundraising events. The Career Center and Entrepreneur Hub are located off the Lobby and are for counseling, interviewing and workshops for post high school students. Counselors work with job interview skills, resume writing and job searches. It is set up to be accessible without intermingling with younger students. The Administrative Offices / Conference Center are set up to function independently from students’ activities yet maintain a connection to the student areas through physical adjacencies, passive security and visual connections. The Offices are configured to operate with separate electrical, HVAC and security zones. The Design Team is tasked with working with local vendors for donations for interior façade finishes (tile, siding, stone, lighting, flooring, etc.). The Team is responsible for locating donations, placing them in the facility and maintaining the owner’s design vision of the spaces. Junior Achievement maintains an active vision to have a positive impact on the lives of more students guided by the core values: “Belief in the boundless potential of young people; Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship; Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it; Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and backgrounds of all individuals; Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration and; Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning.”

Sustainable Design & Materials

The Owner chose not to pursue LEED or other sustainable certification(s), however the interior modifications are designed to a minimum LEED Silver certification. And the Owner does want to be as sustainable and operationally efficient as (economically) possible. The reuse/repurposing of a building that has sat vacant for over 4 years in an at-risk area demonstrates their commitment to sustainability and resilient communities. A high priority, for sustainability and budgetary reasons, is the selective demolition and re-use of as many existing attributes as feasible. The design incorporates and re-uses existing ceiling fans, high-bay light fixtures, lighting systems, plumbing fixtures and accessories, furniture, kiosks and the lobby check-in reception desk. JASN is also planning to pursue a “yard-sale” approach for other salvageable items in the building including: lockers, sports equipment, glass storefronts and finishes – all to reduce land-fill waste and encourage re-cycling and up-cycling of existing usable products. New parking covers with solar panels are to be installed in the parking area with local grant money. Interior finishes are being selected for recycled content, low (or non) VOCs, Existing furniture is also being refinished/re-upholstered for the Lobby, Offices and Finance Park.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

LEEF Silver Eqivalent

Date of Completion

Project Location

4440 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121, USA

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