Cherokee Elementary Rebuild Design Plans on Display

Credit: Paradise Valley Independent

By Josh Martinez for Paradise Valley Independent

Officials from Orcutt | Winslow, an architect firm working on the rebuild of Cherokee Elementary School, stood before the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board Tuesday, August 20th to give an update on their ongoing project.

The update included a design concept, which the firm presented previously at an August 12th community meeting, and tentative dates for the project.

Tom O’Neil, Orcutt | Winslow senior associate, said the firm is about 80 percent done with the design phase and will submit its plans to the town in October.

Campus Design

Scott Sowinski, design architect at Orcutt | Winslow, gave an overview of the design, saying the architects wanted to draw inspiration from the area’s culture and history.

This led the team to develop four strategies in designing the school:

  • Cherokee as a nurse plant, provides students a healthy and safe school experience.
  • Achievement of connection to nature through biophilic design patterns and principles.
  • Maximizing the layout of the design to take advantage of outdoor learning and modern curriculum delivery.
  • Mix of mid-century modern aesthetics with contemporary materials and Sonoran Desert context.

Overall, plans call for the existing solar panels and bus loop on 56th Street to remain but more parking and a Cherokee history sign to go where the existing campus resides. This will push school buildings further south and fields to go to the east of the parking and campus facilities.

Plans also show four buildings, which include two classroom buildings, an administration building and a multipurpose building. Classrooms are gathered by age group and will feature a collaborative pod area for each grade.

Future Timeline

CORE Construction plans to do the project in three phases from December 2019 to January 2021.

The first phase will include construction of the classroom buildings on the south as well as the fields on the southeast. This would happen from December 2019 to July 2020.

The second phase, which has plans to run from May 2020 to January 2021, will include demolition of the southernmost buildings of the old campus as well as the construction of the other two buildings.

The third phase will likely run from July 2020 to January 2021 and will include the demolition of the rest of the buildings, the construction of parking and the finishing of the fields.

Read more at Paradise Valley Independent.

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