Kiva Elementary School is moving forward with plans to remodel the school campus. As one of 15 elementary schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District, Kiva serves 455 students pre-K through sixth grade. By the time construction commences, it will be the school’s first major remodel since it was built in 1957.
The long-anticipated renovations became a reality on October 1, 2019, when the SUSD Governing Board voted unanimously to select Kiva as the sixth school to be renovated through a 2016 voter-approved bond proposal. A recommendation for rebuilding/renovation resulted from the SUSD annual school capacity analysis.
In March 2020, Principal Alice Spingola announced a 23-member Visioning Committee to collaborate in re-imagining the school’s campus. The committee members included Kiva’s parents, teachers, staff and neighbors. They have met several times each month to go over project goals, designs and building plan analysis.
“This will be a total modernization project, so our entire campus will be updated,” Spingola said. “Our campus needs a major remodel to accommodate the needs of today’s learner.”
The Visioning Committee is working with architect firm Orcutt Winslow to develop the overall vision and project design, with construction expected to begin in spring 2021. The contractor’s phasing plan will determine the project completion date, but the work could last for up to a year.
The school is preparing for the big overhaul, which will cover classrooms, common areas and the historic main building itself.
Kiva has welcomed students for more than 60 years and everyone at the school is eager to see what’s to come.
“The Kiva community is very excited, and they want to be involved,” Spingola said. “Kiva is a true community school, and the Kiva community has waited for the modernization for a long time. I am most excited that the students will have a new learning environment.”
Early polling and research found that some of the changes the community wants to see include larger classrooms, a better performance space and improved parking and traffic flow. Design elements that Kiva families hope will be included are natural light, open layout and environmentally-aware education spaces.
Spingola and the Visioning Committee believe there will be many positive changes to the school in the months and years to come.
As the project start date approaches and the design discussions develop further, Kiva’s leaders are determined to make a difference for the students they are so proud of by adding more support and opportunities.
“We want to continue to provide an exceptional education for our students, one that provides students skills that prepare them for tomorrow’s world,” Spingola said. “Our goal is to develop those life skills necessary in society, including citizenship, communication (receptive, expressive, digital), creativity and critical thinking.”