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Arizona News - December 2009

New $80 Million NAU Job Begins Construction

The LEED gold facility replaces five aging buildings at the Flagstaff campus.

NAU Breaks Ground on Health & Learning Center

Northern Arizona University broke ground on a new health and learning center, which will provide a range of health and counseling services, recreation space, classrooms and the Lumberjack Stadium for track and soccer teams and locker rooms. The 270,000-sq.-ft., $79.1-million facility is the largest project undertaken at NAU and was designed by the Phoenix office of OWP/P I Cannon Design. Mortenson Construction is the construction manger for the project.

The facility will seek LEED gold, and is expected to be completed by Fall 2011. The health and learning center, located close to residence halls, the bookstore, and dining facilities, is an important step in bringing together student services now spread across five aging and antiquated buildings. The new facility will respond to the increasing demand for services at the university, and reflects a growing trend on campuses to integrate student life programs. Surveys showed strong support for the new center’s health services from parents and for new and expanded recreation space among students. The new center is designed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 50%. Prominent environmental features include a 45% reduction in potable water usage, the installation of 100 solar thermal panels on the building’s roof and efficient mechanical equipment including heat recovery.

Interactive Children’s Museum Exhibit Underway

A three-story high, wild maze of tube steel with pieces weighing as much as 5,000 lbs is currently under construction at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

The Schuff Perini Climber, located in the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, is being built through the donations of over 30 construction firms.
The Schuff Perini Climber, located in the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, is being built through the donations of over 30 construction firms.

Known as the Schuff Perini Climber, the project’s original educational and physical concept has morphed into a much more dramatic exhibit due to the enthusiasm of the construction community. The climber gradually evolved into a gigantic steel labyrinth that involves Perini Building Co., construction manager; Schuff Steel Co., the steel fabricator and erector; Ganymede Design Group; Bakkum Noelke Consulting Structural Engineers; Draft-Tech, Structural Detailers; and 37 other subcontractors and vendors.

“There is no repetition and every piece of steel is placed at an angle,” says Todd Brush, Schuff’s lead project coordinator. “The Climber is one of the most intricate structures Schuff has built.”

Schuff is donating its professional services, steel fabrication and erection, plus all 50 tons of steel on the project. Perini is donating project management, construction expertise, on-site supervision and has lined up over 30 subcontractors and vendors to donate time and materials. Approximately 75% of the project is being donated.

The Climber uses unexpected objects, such as a claw-footed flying bathtub with steel reinforced wings, a rocket ship with real car door fins and an 18-ft long plank that leads to a school of flying fish made from recycled items. With four options to ascend the Climber, children can crawl, walk, zigzag and climb on tube steel columns and beams, ladders, plywood ramps, a water park slide lined for traction, or even a see-through fiberglass grating. To secure the under-aged explorers, the entire structure is draped in stainless steel-woven wire netting.

The project is due to open late January 2010, approximately five months from groundbreaking.

Tubac Fire Station Breaks Ground

Construction began on the Tubac Fire Station No. 4, which was designed by Breckenridge Group. Located in Tubac, the 9,200-sq-ft station will house six firefighters per shift. Designed to blend with the residential scale of the neighborhood the new station utilizes materials, forms and colors indicative of the architectural flavor of the region. The station also incorporates several sustainable features including: low flow plumbing fixtures, native landscaping and water harvesting to conserve water; cool roof materials and high performance windows to conserve energy;  and photovoltaic roof panels to generate electricity from the sun.

The construction of the fire station is expected to be completed July 2010. The funding for the fire station came from the bond issue approved in November 2008. Breckenridge Group is the architect of record for the design of the fire station.

First Wind Farm Dedicated

Arizona’s first commercial-scale wind power project was dedicated at the Lake Wind Power Project.

The Dry Lake Wind Power Project is located in Navajo Country in the northwest corner of Arizona. Photo: Iberdrola Renewables.
The Dry Lake Wind Power Project is located in Navajo Country in the northwest corner of Arizona. Photo: Iberdrola Renewables.

Located in Navajo County, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project sits on a combination of private, state and federal lands. Approximately a third of the project is on the private Rocking Chair Ranch, with a third each on Arizona State Land Department and Bureau of Land Management public lands.

The project brings a new source of clean, renewable energy to the region while supporting the local economy through property tax payments to Navajo County and job creation.

Composed of 30 Suzlon S88-2.1 mw turbines, the Dry Lake Wind Power Project generates 63 mw of clean energy, enough power for more than 15,000 homes.

The Dry Lake Wind Power Project was developed and is operated by Iberdrola Renewables, the largest provider of wind power in the world.

New Hotel Underway in Chandler

A.R. Mays Construction Inc. has been awarded a nearly $10-million contract to build the first Cambria Suites hotel in the Phoenix metro area. Located in Chandler at the southwest corner of Chandler Blvd & Dobson, the Cambria Suites is being developed by HP Properties of Birmingham, Ala. for its client Suenos Hospitality LLC. The project architect is Rodriguez & Associates of Kansas City, Mo. The new 137-room, five-story hotel will break ground in early November.

Cambria Suites, franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc., competes in the upscale, select service category. The new brand currently has 70 properties open or under development in the U.S. and Canada. Completion of construction is scheduled for fourth quarter 2010.

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