SUSD taps SPS+ for architectural services at Hohokam Elementary

Hohokam Elementary School is at 8451 E. Oak St. (file photo)

Hohokam Elementary School will have architectural services for its upcoming project after the Scottsdale Unified School approved the selection of firm SPS+.

The Governing Board unanimously voted on the selection at its May 14 meeting at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave. SPS+ was one of four firms the Mohave cooperative agreement procured.

One of the services the firm will provide is a feasibility study to determine whether Hohokam will need a remodel or a rebuild.

In selecting SPS+, Interim Chief Financial Officer Jeff Gadd said the firm went through two screenings and two interviews, ensuring it was fully vetted.

“They are very qualified and we felt that they would do a fine job,” Mr. Gadd said during the meeting. “The principal was very satisfied with them in terms of their approach to the project. So we’re looking forward to having a great project with them.”

Mr. Gadd also cited the firm’s experience in full school remodels and rebuilds. He clarified that meant experience in large school projects, not just small ones.

As part of the screening, the district convened a committee that consisted of Mr. Gadd, Director of Facilities Dennis Roehler, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Ibi Haghighat, Cherokee Principal Walter Chantler and Governing Board Vice President Allyson Beckham to do preliminary interview with the eligible firms.

At a later date, a committee of Mr. Gadd, Mr, Roehler, Ms. Haghighat and Hohokam Principal Chuck Rantala interviewed SPS+ specifically for architectural services at the school.

Next steps for the school include the district negotiating a contract under the Mohave Contract’s terms and conditions along with its fee structure.

The Hohokam project is one of several projects that the district has undertaken following a 2016 voter-approved $229 million bond. The bond had funds earmarked to remedy some of the district’s failing infrastructure.

So far, the district has had two elementary schools undergo rebuilds with Cherokee Elementary School en route for a rebuild as well.

The district had originally chosen Hohokam, 8451 E. Oak St., as a project in December 2016 but later canceled it in June 2018 prior to the start of construction. The cancellation was a result of the fall out and subsequent legal action with Hunt and Caraway Architects.

There are plans to move Hohokam students to Yavapai Elementary school during the project. This was a point of concern at the time for Governing Board President Patty Beckman, who said she didn’t like the involvement of the Yavapai community in this project.

Yavapai is one of four schools in risk of having too few of students to operate. In November 2018, the school was sitting at 262 students and has two years to raise that population or it runs the risk of consolidation into Hohokam.

Other potential projects include Kiva and Pueblo elementary schools but a split Governing Board declined to officially designate the two schools as next after Hohokam, tabling an official 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 jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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