Nells Air Force Base, in consultation with the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, in order to meet its obligations to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, has created this public website hosted on the Nellis Air Force Base website to host the information collected to help preserve the Lomie G. Heard Elementary School Historic District.
Aerial shot from the Northeast looking Southwest of the school, September 8, 1953.
Entrance to school from the South looking North, December 2, 2015.
Ms Lomie Heard visits her namesake school on her 100th Birthday in 2006.
School mascot mural and part of building, 2017.
Front of school in the mid-90’s, from the South looking Northwest.

About Lomie G. Heard Elementary School

The school now known as Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School was constructed in 1953, allowing the school to move out of the barracks into a dedicated building. The architectural firm Zick & Sharp, prominent architects in the Las Vegas area between the 1940’s and 1980’s, were contracted to design the school in 1951. Their Mid-Century Modern design included 3 classroom buildings, an administration building, and a multipurpose building, which served as the gym, auditorium, and cafeteria. The wall design at the end of the classroom buildings is a subtle nod to contemporary aircraft wing tips. The new facilities’ first students entered the campus on September 8, 1953, for the 1953-1954 school year, with a capacity of 442 students and 15 teachers, grades K-8. As the base grew, so too did the school, increasing to 1,020 students and 34 teachers in 1960. To meet the increased demand, the school constructed two more classroom buildings in 1956 and continued to use the old barracks buildings. The school also began sending some students to a nearby school off-base to prevent overcrowding, which left 814 students at Nellis Elementary School in 1964. In 1967, renovations and additions were performed, creating classrooms with moving walls and building two more classroom buildings. Future additions included a new multipurpose room (the original was converted into a library) and another classroom building, and in 1990 a ‘Specialist Wing’ was also built. At peak, the school had over 1,200 students. At the turn of the millennium, the school had 766 students and 73 staff members.

The school has had multiple names over the years, starting with Air Base School in 1949, then later changed to Nellis Elementary School in the 1950’s. Other names included Nellis Air Force Base Dependents school and Nellis Air Force Base School. In 1971, when Ms. Lomie Gray Heard retired after 21 years as principal, the school changed its name again to honor her legacy. In 2016, the school was turned over to Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (a public charter school) and was renamed as such. From 2016 to present, Coral Academy has operated the school on base.

Ms. Heard, born in 1906 in Carlsbad, New Mexico, was a career educator, beginning to teach around 1924, teaching in a few different New Mexico schools until 1942. From 1942 to 1944, she taught in Native American schools in Arizona and New Mexico, eventually moving to Las Vegas in 1944. Ms. Heard joined the Air Base School in 1949 and assumed principal’s duties in 1950 and served for 21 years, retiring in 1971. Even after retirement, Ms. Heard continued as a tutor when she moved to Arizona in 1978. To crown her educational achievement, Ms. Heard was inducted into the Education Hall of Fame at Western University, New Mexico on May 9, 1997. The Nevada State Museum also has a collection dedicated to her.

The elementary school was closed in 2019 when Coral Academy opened their new school campus on the other side of Nellis Air Force Base, adjacent to the newer family housing area. The old school then began being prepared for demolition to accommodate new construction to support the ever-growing mission on Nellis. The 12 buildings and school property, including the original construction and later additions, has been named the Lomie G. Heard Elementary School Historic District, and this website serves to commemorate the school’s mission of educating military children and capture the example of Mid-Century Modern design.


Lomie Heard Through the Years


Lomie G. Heard Through the Years

Photographs courtesy of the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas

Class picture while holding flags at the school mural, class and date unknown.
Living picture display for art appreciation, undated.
Bull’s Eye newsletter from December 1953 showing the students putting on a Christmas play.
First graduating class from Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School, then called Nellis Air Force Base grammar school (sic).
School spelling bee winners, date unknown.
School band at PTA carnival, May 1958. Military housing can be seen in the background, past the armored vehicle.
School Halloween costumes picture, undated.
Students holding Fire Prevention Week awards, October 1964.
8th grade graduates from the then-called Nellis Air Force Base Dependents School in 1954.
Ms. Heard and an unnamed teacher, undated.
Program from the Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School closing event.
Lomie Gray Heard Elementary School aerial view in April 1987. Note the 1980’s era additional buildings and sports court.
East classrooms, from the Southeast looking Northwest, undated. Note the fence added after original construction.
Turning the school keys over to CASLV on 15 Jul 2016. Coral Academy constructed a new school campus across base shortly after beginning operations.