SUSD Governing Board approves CMAR contract for Cherokee rebuild

Cherokee Elementary School is at 8801 N. 56th St. in Paradise Valley. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Cherokee Elementary School took the next step in its rebuild process as the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved a construction manager at risk contract form.

The approval, which came at the board’s May 14 meeting, is with CORE Construction and law firm Gust Rosenfeld drafted the agreement. The meeting was at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave.

The board had minimal discussion regarding the contract outside of Governing Board Vice President Allyson Beckham asking a few questions regarding the guaranteed maximum price and what figures were in the contract and which ones had yet to be determined.

A guaranteed maximum price — also known as GMP — is a type of contract in which a ceiling price is put in place for that specific project.

The contract with CORE Construction will be for preconstruction services at the school. Originally, the board had approved preconstruction costs to be 0.7% of the guaranteed maximum price and no more than $140,000, Ms. Beckham said.

It also addresses construction services “if and only if” the board approves a guaranteed maximum price, which CORE will submit.

Some figures, such as the guaranteed maximum price, were not yet inserted into the contract. The Governing Board will decide on the GMP at a later date. If approved, it will then go into the contract, Jennifer MacLennan of Gust Rosenfeld said.

“The difference also in this contract will be that the construction costs, because there are some definite percentages, will not be in this construction contract,” Ms. Beckham said.

“It will be part of the GMP negotiation. We’ll just have to be very aware of that fact when we approve the GMP.”

The Governing Board elected to rebuild Cherokee Elementary School, 8801 N. 56th St. in the Town of Paradise Valley, at its April 16 meeting. This decision came after the architect firm Orcutt Winslow conducted a feasibility study and recommended a school rebuild instead of a renovation.

Cherokee is part of several projects the district is working on as part of a voter-passed $229 million bond. Some previous projects included the rebuild of Hopi Elementary School and Pima Traditional School as well as renovations at Cheyenne Traditional School.

Following Cherokee, the district will turn its focus to the rebuild or renovation of Hohokam Elementary School. At the May 14 meeting, the Governing Board approved a contract with SPS+ to provide architectural services for the project.

The board is also eying the future as it has discussed Kiva and Pueblo elementary schools as the projects after Hohokam but ultimately decided to table that decision.

Several residents expressed their displeasure of this decision during the public comment of the May 14 meeting.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at or at 623-445-2738

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