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Scottsdale School District Will Continue Cheyenne Construction After Re-Evaluation

Scottsdale Unified School District logo
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
The Scottsdale Unified School District serves about 23,000 students.

The Scottsdale Unified School District has partially satisfied the demands of an agreement with the state’s top prosecutor over construction projects in the district.

The attorney general’s Feb. 22 complaintfocused multi-million voter-approved construction projects at Cheyenne and Hohokam elementary schools.

A new committee Tuesday re-selected Chasse Building Team, the original winners of the construction manager contract for the Cheyenne project. A district spokesperson said this confirms Chasse was the legitimate winner of the contract.

The lawsuit claims the district broke the law in part because its architect, Brian Robichaux, was not licensed at the time and unfairly influenced the selection of construction companies.

In response, the district convened a totally new selection committee to evaluate proposals. The committee includes Tony Cohill of Skyline Builders and Restoration, Howell “Chip” Shay of  SPS + Architects, LLP, Jeff Stratman, the district legal counsel and chief business officer for Alhambra Elementary School District and Katie Root, principal of Laguna Elementary.

A district spokesperson said none of these people were included in the original selection process and “have no stake in the outcome.”

Construction, which was almost complete, will continue at the school uninterrupted.

RELATED: Scottsdale School Construction Project Central In AG Investigation

The estimated $7.6 million project included a new 14,000-square-foot gym, science labs, remodeling the administration building, resurfacing a parking lot and painting. Chasse was approved to spend up to $8.5 million on the project during two June 2017 governing board meetings. 

The district has halted construction at Hohokam Elementary School which is named in the lawsuit.

The district agreed to suspend Hohokam’s existing construction contractand evaluate future proposals with a new selection committee.

News Education
Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.