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Scottsdale OKs New 70KSF BASIS Campus

Rendering courtesy City of Scottsdale

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Charter education leader BASIS Schools will build a new campus on nine acres at 128th Street and Shea Boulevard. When completed, the 70KSF middle school-high school will serve up to 1,320 students in grades 5-12.

Phoenix IDA is Funding Source

Funding for the project and other BASIS efforts was secured through the Industrial Development Authority of the City of Phoenix. Under the measure, the authority resolved to issue up to $100M in Education Facility Revenue Bonds for BASIS’ use.

Phoenix IDA approved the plan in October and it was reviewed and unanimously approved by Phoenix City Council in November.

According to council documents, the IDA funding includes the new Scottsdale school and a new Chandler campus at South Arizona Avenue and East Chandler Heights Road. In addition, the loans provide for refinancing of two campuses – one in Oro Valley and one in Washington, D.C. – and renovations to three Arizona schools and their facilities.

BASIS currently operates 17 schools for K-12 students in Arizona, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Scottsdale Site Chosen for Size, Location

The 12730 E. Shea Blvd. location for the new BASIS Scottsdale campus was the preferred site of three originally under consideration. It was chosen for its proximity to the group’s current Scottsdale campus at 136th Street and Via Linda and its ease of access from Shea. The location was finalized in November and acquisition will close in January.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and finish in July in time for an August opening. BASIS said this is its standard construction timeline and matches the development model for its recently constructed Goodyear campus.

The two-story building will have a first floor of approximately 47KSF and a second of 23KSF. It will be similar in style and color to the McDowell Mountain Church on North 124th Street and the Mayo Clinic complex on Shea. Construction will consist of glass, steel frame, stucco and pre-engineered metal. Accent painted steel and a coated rust panel finish are intended to complement existing developments on the Shea corridor.

The Sonoran Desert color scheme will feature earth tones of brown, desert sand and green accents. Glass expanses will reflect the surrounding landscape.

Despite the fact that as a public charter school BASIS is exempted by statute from most local zoning ordinances, the plans submitted by project architect Carhuff + Cueva take into account significant aspects of Scottsdale’s General Plan and Sensitive Design guidelines.

The design also reflects the city’s sustainability goals and features elements such as passive solar shading, LED lighting, and accessibility for pedestrians, vehicles and bicyclists. Cuts and fills for a level pad are limited to five feet, and the grading plan is balanced to minimize disturbance to the existing wash and scenic corridor.

Landscaping will feature indigenous plants to minimize water use. These include yucca, creosote bush and yucca. Salvaged plants on the site will include ocotillo and saguaro and barrel cactus. Mesquite and palo verde trees will be added. The site’s play areas will be covered with artificial turf to eliminate the need to water real grass.

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