Governing Board Taps Architect for Cherokee Project; First Community Meeting Held
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 19, 2018) Phoenix-based Orcutt Winslow will design the “next” Cherokee Elementary School. The Scottsdale Unified School District’s Governing Board selected the architecture firm at its Dec. 11 monthly meeting. In October, the Board chose Cherokee, located at 8801 N. 56th St., Paradise Valley, as the next Scottsdale Unified school to be re-developed with 2016 voter-approved bonds.
Cherokee’s architect team, led by Tom O’Neil, met with approximately 50 of the school’s parents, staff and neighbors for the first time this week to begin a collaborative design process. The attendees worked in groups on Monday to identify an initial list of goals they would like to see achieved in the Cherokee project. On that wish list are: a unique, sustainable design; improved layers of security; indoor and outdoor collaborative learning spaces; increased natural lighting; better vehicle traffic circulation; and more multi-purpose spaces for school and community events.
No decision has been made on whether Cherokee will be completely rebuilt or if its pod-like structures will undergo renovations. Orcutt Winslow plans five more meetings with the Cherokee community before architects develop a design, which could take up to six months. Construction could begin by this time next year. The next community meeting is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2019 at the Cherokee campus.
Originally opened in 1974 and situated on nearly 19.5 acres, Cherokee Elementary school was last renovated in 2001. The school provides educational, recreational and social-emotional learning experiences for 724 students, from toddlers through fifth grade.
“It’s going to be an amazing project,” says Principal Walt Chantler. “We’re excited for Cherokee’s future.”
For more information and to join the e-mail news list to receive project updates, visit susd.org/cherokeeproject.