News Ticker

Local Projects Making News 6-21-13

Awards and Accolades

1.  There’s always debate over the value of pumping dollars into renovating historic public buildings. The finished product staning as it did when originally built is a boost in community pride. No exception is the award-winning preservation of the second Pinal County Courthouse. The 1891 building earned the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Grand Award. ARCADIS, Swan Architects and Concord General Contracting restored, rehabilitated and renovated the building maintaining its historic character and modernizing systems for a 21st century building.


2.  Tucson Girl Scouts are celebrating the first step in the development of a council resource center, 4330 E. Broadway Rd., Tucson. The demolition of an old 5 & Diner clears the way for the new building. The 20KSF center will have a rock climbing wall, resource rooms, STEM program area and supply shop.

Progress Reports

3.  Tragedy struck the Loop 202-Route 24 interchange construction near Warner Road in south Mesa when the wood and steel cribbing installed under the bridge collapsed. One person was killed, another is in serious, but stable condition, when the cribbing collapsed on four workers handling it. ADOSH and ADOT are investigating the cause of the structural failure on the $71.4M project. Wadsworth Brothers Construction is the GC.

4.  Sundt Construction is racing through a $3.5M renovation at Shadow Mountain High School, 2901 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, in 12 weeks. Taking advantage of the summer break, the company is renovating athletics facilities, upgrading exteriors and adding features to make the Paradise Valley Unified School District campus ADA compliant. Even as staff and faculty start returning near the end of July, Sundt will be wrapping construction to finish before the August 8 school start date. Sundt is the CMAR; ADM Group is the architect.

5.  LA Fitness is pumping $4M into eight of its Phoenix and Tucson area clubs this summer. The renovations will bring to ten the number of facilities the company has upgraded this year. One of the Tucson clubs will be expanded by 7KSF. TI varies from club-to-club, and generally, the remodeling includes refinishing floors, adding equipment and replacing carpet. Upgrades have been completed for clubs at 2100 N. Dobson Rd., Chandler, and 1900 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale. The clubs to be remodeled include:

  • 240 S. Wilmot Road, Tucson (expanding to 48KSF)
  • 8160 N. 91st Ave., Peoria.
  • 11630 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix
  • 5536 W. Bell Road, Glendale
  • 7365 N. Via Paseo Del Sur, Scottsdale
  • 18295 N. 83rd Ave., Glendale
  • 2077 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
  • 2950 W. Ina Road, Tucson


6.   Mandalay Homes is one homebuilder breathing new life into the ring of “zombie” subdivisions encircling the Phoenix metro. Abandoned during the Great Recession, some projects near the distant borders of Phoenix and in outlying areas of the Valley are beginning to rebuild. Some—particularly in Phoenix proper—were acquired by the city using ARRA money and are being improved and finished. Others are responding to market demand as existing housing inventory tightens.

7.   It used to be a simple remodel to remodel a fast food restaurant. Now, demolition and rebuild is the word with major chains. McDonalds, 2560 S. 4th St., Yuma, is the latest in the chain’s efforts to modernize its existing stable of stores across the U.S. The existing restaurant will be demolished and replaced with a 5KSF store—including a 1.5KSF play area. The revision will include a dual lane drive through with two service windows.

8.   TDS Telecom Arizona has kicked off its broadband stimulus project in three rural areas. The program to bring broadband coverage to outlying American communities was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The company is creating service for users near the Gila Bend Mountains southwest of Phoenix, border areas near Sassabe and the Coconino National Forest southeast of Flagstaff near Happy Jack and Mormon Lake.

9.   This time for sure, says officials for Tucson’s modern streetcar—it will be open for riders next summer. The first car is being tested on tracks at the manufacturing plant and will arrive in the Old Pueblo this August. The remaining eight trolleys are slated for delivery every four weeks after that. The first riders should be able to board in midsummer 2014, eight months later than the original start date.

Completions and Openings

10.  IO Data Centers has opened a new manufacturing facility in Chandler. While data centers typically provide colocation digital storage, IO has moved into manufacturing modular data centers. The units, which are secure and scalable, are built in Chandler, then shipped and installed to data centers or end users around the world. It takes about a month to build a single module. Multiple modules are connected together to increase the modular data center’s size and capacity.

11.  The new Anthem Charter School serving kindergarten through 6th grade students in Florence is opening across from Florence Hospital at Anthem on Hunt Highway. The American Leadership Academy’s opening day is set for July 29, which is ahead of its original schedule—despite a delay in starting construction in February. The school has a capacity for 500 students.

12.  Advertising in Phoenix Sky Harbor goes higher tech with a $2.5M installation by Alliance Airport Advertising. The new media, including LED displays, touch screen technology and digital walls. An emphasis on local advertisers is part of the package. The system now incorporates full motion video for display boards.