Scottsdale environmental board discusses DDC ‘green building’

During a city of Scottsdale Environmental Quality Advisory Board regular meeting on June 15, the group discussed a letter recommending green building aspects of the proposed Desert Discovery Center, if built.

Chair Alisa McMahon motioned to move forward to finalize a letter of recommendation to submit to the Desert Discovery Center regarding suggesting to have the design of the center showcase green building techniques as a part of the educational aspect of the facility.

A second was provided by Vice-Chair Steven Schlosser.

The motion carried 5-0.

Scottsdale City Council approved a $521,090 contract with Scottsdale-based Swaback Partners, an architectural firm, to provide programming and schematic design services for the planned desert tribute facility, on June 7 by a 5-2 vote.

Scottsdale Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield and Councilman Guy Phillips voted against the architectural contract.

Swaback Partners is the same architectural firm Scottsdale City Council awarded a design services contract for the first iteration of what the Desert Discovery Center would be. In January 2010, Swaback Partners was awarded a contract of $432,000 for similar design services contract, records show.

The new incarnation of the Discovery Center began in September 2015 when Scottsdale City Council instructed the city treasurer to identify funding sources for the first phase of negotiations between the identified vendor for the facility: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale Inc.

Last January, Scottsdale City Council approved a measure with three caveats including the budget transfer of $1.69 million in an effort to lay the foundation for an opportunity to construct an interpretive desert appreciation venue at the Gateway to the Upper Sonoran Desert.

The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses 30,000 acres of land within the rough boundaries of the Pima Road alignment to the west, McDowell Mountain Regional Park to the east, Stagecoach Road to the north and Via Linda Road alignment to the south.

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