SUSD Governing Board

Cherokee school rebuild trending ahead of schedule


Construction at Cherokee Elementary School continues to sally forth as Scottsdale Schools Director of Building Services Dennis Roehler predicts the project is ahead of schedule.

Mr. Roehler shared two videos during the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board’s May 5 meeting, highlighting the progress of the Cherokee rebuild project at 8801 N. 56th St. in the Town of Paradise Valley.

Videos, shot from aerial views at both the beginning of April and May, showed two buildings nearing completion along the southern edge of the property as well as work on the outdoor gardens and playground equipment.

Overall, Mr. Roehler anticipates the project being three weeks ahead of schedule but he did not want to make that official because of the upcoming monsoon season, which could bring potential setbacks.

“The CORE Construction, Orcutt Winslow team has done a fantastic job of moving this project along for us,” Mr. Roehler said during the meeting. “We couldn’t be happier with the progress.”

The Cherokee rebuild is one of several projects which receives funding from the 2016 voter-approved bond. In December, the Governing Board passed a guaranteed maximum price of about $23.04 million for the project.

CORE Construction planned to do three phases of construction with a goal to finish in January 2021. Construction began in December 2019 and has continued throughout the school closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first phase includes the construction of classroom buildings on the south as well as the fields in the southeast, which appear to be nearing completion. The end goal for this phase was July 2020.

The second phase began in May and includes the demolition of the southern edge of the old campus as well as construction of the other two buildings for the new campus. Plans call for this phase to run until the end of the project.

The third phase is slated to begin in July and will include the demolition of the rest of the campus as well as the finishing of the parking lots and fields.

Mr. Roehler said Cherokee staff have officially moved out of the remaining buildings and crews are beginning asbestos abatement leading to demolition.

As for the new buildings, Mr. Roehler said crews are working on the roofs and have plans to have watertight roofs within the coming weeks. He also said work has begun on the inside of those buildings including drywall construction, plumbing, HVAC work and ductwork insulation.

Outside, he said crews began form work on future gardens, playgrounds and basketball courts. He also said crews are grading the area for the future sports field, which will include natural grass.

“They’re really moving along at a pretty fast clip,” Mr. Roehler said.

No board member had questions or comments but Board President Allyson Beckham expressed her gratitude for Mr. Roehler’s efforts in keeping the community updated. SUSD Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard commended district staff’s efforts to continue functioning.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed that we are continuing to progress in these areas,” he said. “From the small office security remodels to whole schools, it’s a big job. Thank you.”