Construction continues at Tuba City elementary school

Kitchen utilities are the plumbing lines under construction. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

Kitchen utilities are the plumbing lines under construction. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The new school at Fir and Main Streets is under construction and will feature state-of-the-art green technology, cloud computing, solar concepts and tribally appropriate cultural design elements for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The new school has been on the planning and drawing board for the past five years and after a successful school bond vote last year, construction has been underway since January of this year.

The new school was necessary to offer the district's students the highest and latest offerings in new technological and green building advances to keep pace with current educational building and school research standards in other places.

The old middle school building was originally built in the 1950s and was not able to provide the electrical wiring or energy needs the students need to use for computers or cloud research on portable devices.

This is the first time this type of building has been built on a Native American Indian reservation in northern Arizona.

CORE Construction, Inc., which is the construction company contracted by TCUSD to build the new school within two years, was originally founded in Illinois in 1937 with an established office in Arizona in 1982.

CORE is ranked as the second largest school builder in the United States.

CORE works to hire Navajo construction professionals. It currently has one Navajo who is a full time national trainer for project management software tools. The man travels the country to various CORE offices and provides standardized instruction to other project management teams.

Wayne Nez, the construction manager for TCUSD, is working very closely with the CORE construction oversight team. He said that based on a three week look ahead schedule, the project is 85 percent complete for footings and 100 percent complete for subsurface infrastructure construction, with the exception of any additional subcontracting work.

"We are hoping to have that first real slab of concrete on grade by July 26, according [our] schedule," Nez said. "I am very pleased with the progress of the initial groundwork and I think Tuba City and Moencopi communities will be happy with the work that has been done so far on this special state-of-the-art school they have been waiting for to house and educate their children and grandchildren."

The new school construction site is completely fenced off on Fir Street off of Main Street in uptown Tuba City, just past the Tuba City Regional Health Care Hospital, but progress can be viewed through the safety fencing.

More information on the building is available by contacting Nez at (928) 283-1015 or Jessica Bateman at CORE at (928) 684-4580.

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