By SCN Staff
PHOENIX, Ariz.—Construction has begun on Robert Rice Elementary School, Chandler Unified School District’s (CUSD) 32nd elementary school.
McCarthy Building Companies is the general contractor on this $23 million K-6 school that will accommodate 800 students when completed in June—in time for the school year to begin in July. CUSD is using school bond funds approved in the 2019 election by voters to build the school.
The 93,000-square-foot building will include a gym/multipurpose room, media center, classrooms and administration space. The new school is being built on an accelerated seven-month schedule on Ocotillo Road between Lindsay Road and Val Vista Drive in southwest Gilbert, Ariz.
HDA Architects Inc. is the architect on the project. Major subcontractors include Sun Valley Masonry, Procon Concrete, R&N Electric, Irontree and Midstate Mechanical.
The school will contain energy-saving features including an air-cooled central plant; an energy management system that allows HVAC and lighting to be controlled remotely via the Internet; sky lighting in hallways to eliminate use of lights; and ground and polished concrete floors in hallways and bathrooms, which are easier and less expensive to maintain.
The school is being named after Robert Rice, a long-time CUSD governing board member who began his career as a U.S. Air Force officer and spent more than two decades working for Intel in senior management roles. He is a member of the Arizona School Facilities Board.
Students who currently attend Weinberg Elementary—which is being turned into a school for gifted students next year—will attend the new Robert Rice Elementary School. Like Weinberg Elementary, the new school will offer both the Chandler Traditional Academies (CTA) education model, as well as “classic” education. The school will also implement a sustainability program.
“We are working hard to establish a neighborhood school that delivers strong instruction aligned to the Arizona standards and offers a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities for our students,” said CUSD Superintendent Camille Castille, in a statement.
“Rice Elementary will provide options for parents with respect to students’ instructional needs and foster parent and community involvement through partnerships with all school stakeholders.”