Hohokam Elementary heads toward renovation, new additions

Hohokam Elementary is one of several bond projects the district has undertaken. (Photo courtesy of SUSD)

Hohokam Elementary School is en route for a renovation with new additions.

The Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved the direction after hearing a presentation regarding a feasibility study done at the school. The approval came at the board’s Sept. 3 meeting.

Darlene Cadman of SPS+ Architects said the recommendation includes the reuse of existing school structures with new single-story additions to the school.

Hohokam is one of several elementary schools undergoing renovation projects receiving funds from a 2016 voter-approved bond. Cherokee Elementary School is another ongoing project, which will enter its construction phase later this year.

As part of the study, SPS+ Architects hosted several community outreach meetings and assessed existing facilities before making its recommendation.

Through community meetings, SPS+ learned the community prefers renovate and addition. Ms. Cadman reiterated portions of her Aug. 20 meeting, saying several school facilities needed upgrades including mechanical and electrical systems; drainage; and landscaping.

Ms. Cadman did say the shell of the existing buildings were in “fabulous” condition. She said there is some cracking and some water damage but overall, the structure is in good shape.

“This is the City of Scottsdale’s definition of adaptive reuse, which is keeping life in these buildings and ‘developing a new use for an older building or for a building originally designed for a specific and special purpose,’” Ms. Cadman said. “So we think that adaptive reuse is definitely the right way to go on this project.”

Originally, SUSD Director of Building Services Dennis Roehler said the budget for this project was $16 million but after moving some extra money around from other projects and because of inflation, that budget is an estimated $20 million.

Mr. Roehler said this was an estimate based on early sketches. He assured the Governing Board he would keep them abreast of any changes to that estimate.

The board also had the option to do a full rebuild but a reuse with additions would save the district 1.5%, Chasse Building Team staff estimate.

“[The estimate of] 1.5% is almost negligible but I think we heard loud and clear that the community wanted to save something,” Mr. Roehler said. “So, SPS+ has done their job to vet that building and make sure what we do save has value and doesn’t detract from the new school.”

With the Governing Board’s approval in hand, the project shifts to the design phase. Mr. Roehler said the team will present a specific design at a later date.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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