Scottsdale school board moves forward with latest bond projects

Kiva’s utility easement, CMAR for Tavan elementary approved

Posted 6/3/22

Two “time sensitive” approvals involving Kiva and Tavan elementary schools’ renovations were authorized by the Scottsdale Unified governing board in the absence of two members.

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Scottsdale school board moves forward with latest bond projects

Kiva’s utility easement, CMAR for Tavan elementary approved


Two “time sensitive” approvals involving Kiva and Tavan elementary schools’ renovations were authorized by the Scottsdale Unified governing board in the absence of two members.

During a special June 1 meeting, held remotely, the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board unanimously approved an Arizona Public Service utility easement for Kiva Elementary, 6911 E. McDonald Drive, in Paradise Valley, and Construction Manager at Risk Services for Tavan Elementary, 4610 E. Osborn Road, in Phoenix.

SUSD Board President Julie Cieniawski, Vice President Dr. Libby Hart-Wells and Board Member Jann-Michael Greenburg were present; board members Patty Beckman and Zach Lindsay were not.

Dennis Roehler, SUSD director of building services, was asked to give a summary about Kiva’s utility easement, who said it is customary for the utility company to require an easement on Scottsdale property for construction and long-term maintenance of primary utility equipment to construct, reconstruct, replace, repair, operate and maintain electrical lines involving transmitting, distributing electricity to facilities/fixtures.

The board approval will allow the installation, operation and maintenance of telecommunication wires, cables, conduits, fixtures/facilities to supply electricity by permitting a company to install wires, fixtures, conduits, or cables permission “to trim, prune, cut, and clear away trees, brush, shrubs, or other vegetation on, or adjacent to, the easement premises,” according to a staff report.

“The easement is very typical to all new construction. Whenever we put in utilities, there is typically an easement that allows the utility to be able to not only construct those utilities, but then to have a pathway over the utilities to ensure that they can maintain them long-term. So, that easement takes us from the roadway onto our campus to the service entrance section the transformer, and the service entrance section that provides power to our new campus,” said Roehler.

“So we’ve been working diligently with APS. They’ve got a lot of work and they’re struggling with the same kind of manpower issues and equipment issues that everyone is, so my apologies for having to bring together a special meeting for this, but without this easement we can’t move forward with the installation of the permanent power for the Kiva project. So, that’s why the special meeting outside of our regular rotation.”

Cieniawski said she recalls asking questions in the past about the easement when discussing the original plans for Kiva. She expressed appreciation for getting to a point where they can continue with the “important project.”

Tavan moves forward

The three SUSD board members also approved the construction agreement for the construction manager at risk — CMAR — services for Tavan Elementary School. During the May 24 board meeting, the first guaranteed maximum price for this project was approved for $1,011,330. The board awarded a request for qualifications to CORE Construction on Oct. 26, 2021.

As recommended by outside auditors, according to a staff report, district administration presented and obtained approval only for a pre-construction agreement Oct. 26, 2021.

Now that the board has approved CORE Construction to proceed with initial demolition on the site, then district administration presents a construction services agreement for approval, which the construction services agreement was previously reviewed by outside counsel and outside auditors at the city of Scottsdale.

Terms of the construction services agreement extend to the current and future construction services performed at Tavan Elementary School, the report added.

The architectural design portion was previously awarded by the board to SPS+ Architects June 22, 2021, using the Mohave cooperative Contract No. 21A-0507, according to a previous staff report.

The administration, with SPS+ Architects reviewed the GMP-1 submitted by CORE Construction, and determined the amount was fair, reasonable and recommended approving CORE Construction, Inc. GMP 1 for the $1,011,330, to cover demolishing one building and renovating others.

“As you all remember we went through an extensive audit with the city of Scottsdale on our Hohokam project and the contract that is before you today is a result of that work. The auditors provided extensive input into the contract and how it should read. We also, as you know, split the contract so there is the pre-construction portion of the contract and now before you the CMAR contract. Again, this was a little bit out of sorts we were trying to get it finished up and make sure that all of our I’s were dotted and T’s crossed in time for the last board meeting. We just weren’t able to finish that up so we have that before you now,” said Roehler.

Cieniawski said the construction services agreement has been reviewed by outside counsel and by the outside auditors at the city of Scottsdale.

“I think that’s very important for our general public to know that the auditing process that we put in place including our support by the city of Scottsdale has been part of our construction services projects since then and I believe that is a very wise trait that we have in place,” added Cieniawski.