A handful of state dignitaries paid a visit to the Mesquite Works STEAM Center on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 4, just prior to the Mesquite to Moapa (M2M) Democrats’ “True to the Blue” rally at the Eureka Casino Resort.
Congressman Steven Horsford (D-4th District), Sen. Edgar Flores (2nd District), County Clerk Lynn Goya, and Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick were among those politicians touring the STEAM venue in the Mesquite Plaza for approximately an hour.
They were greeted by local City Councilwoman Karen Dutkowski, Mesquite Works Board member George Gault, Treasurer Ann Weast, Mayor Al Litman, STEAM Center Director Nikki Meador, and Manager Denisse Jimenez.
Horsford was impressed by what he saw at the STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (plus Agriculture) and Math – building on Sunday.
“This center is a perfect model of what we need for kids,” he said, adding that he comes to the Virgin Valley “as much as I can” as part of his mobile office hours.
“I’m really pleased to talk about this investment,” said Horsford, who voted for the American Rescue Act, which helped toward funding a grant for the STEAM facility. “We need to develop young people’s skills and make sure this place gets exposure.”
The Vegas-born Congressman proceeded to ask Meador specifically what the center needs, to which she replied, “More robotics equipment and more space for the youngest kids.”
Flores had been observing the venue’s amenities – such as the Lego platform, 3D printer, and podcast room – before he paused to converse with The Progress.
“This STEAM Center is very needed and serves a lot of folks,” said Flores, who was on hand with his wife, Karen, and their young son, Mateo. “It’s amazing, and I’m excited to attend.”
The Senator mentioned he recently spoke to a friend who advised that, “We need to create more things to get children’s attention and hold their interest.”
As for how often Flores travels to Mesquite and vicinity, the Las Vegas native replied that he visits for personal pleasure and exploring the trails. “Coming out here gives me breathing room and a nice break from the political environment at our office,” he said.
Meador and Weast conducted the tour while giving insight about the STEAM Center’s background – its grand opening was August 2023 – and future plans. Connected to the facility is a large expansion area (previously a restaurant), which Meador expects to repurpose with extra rooms “when we get more funding.”
The tour’s purpose, according to Dutkowski, was “low-key fun” so everybody could meet and mingle as part of the M2M club’s 15th anniversary.
“We wanted to invite elected officials here to check it out,” she explained.
Mayor Litman was among local officials who accepted an invitation to attend. “It’s important to represent Mesquite whenever possible,” he said.
Meador, who replaced Lizz Larson in December, was excited to co-host the event.
“It’s really nice of the guests to take time out of their busy day,” Meador said.
NV politicians tour Mesquite STEAM center