Child Crisis Arizona, whose mission is to provide children and youth in Arizona a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect, by creating strong and successful families, today joined with local dignitaries including Mesa Vice Mayor Francisco Heredia, major funders including Janis Merrill, Kathye Brown, Erik Olsson, Thunderbird Charities, and board members to break ground for its planned 38,000-square-foot, climate-friendly, net-zero campus at 424 W. Rio Salado Pkwy. in Mesa.

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Spanning 2.4 acres, the two-story campus will be one of the first for any nonprofit in Arizona to put sustainability at the forefront and build for future generations. Architectural Resource Team serves as the architect on the project and CHASSE Building Team as the general contractor.

“Child Crisis Arizona has experienced unprecedented program growth especially in its early education programs. This growth meant our staff members and programs were sprinkled throughout the Valley as we didn’t have adequate space,” said Torrie Taj, CEO of Child Crisis Arizona. “To give perspective, in 2022, across all programs, the agency served over 7,500 unduplicated individuals. This campus will offer additional program space for both Child Crisis Arizona and partner organizations to provide transformational programs focused on impact for underserved children, youth, and families. Establishing this new campus will centralize Child Crisis Arizona operations and leverage synergies with partner organizations.”

From left: Ben Shunk, Chasse Building Team project director; Susan Barnes, Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation (PCDIC) board chair; Mary Michel, Child Crisis Arizona Volunteer Campaign co-chair; Jeff Friesen, Child Crisis Arizona board chair and Southwest Region Enterprise Bank & Trust president; Torrie Taj, Child Crisis Arizona CEO; Kathye Brown, donor;  Francisco Heredia, Mesa Vice Mayor; Juan Selgado, PCDIC CEO; Doug McCord, Architectural Resources Team principal; Cheryl Ruggerio, Thunderbird Charities; and Pat Williams, Thunderbird Charities, at the January groundbreaking

This new campus will become the new home to services for low-income children and families including:

• Foster care and adoption services

• Family education

• Children’s counseling

• Health and wellness, including medical screenings and basic needs

• Centralized kitchen and food distribution

• Centralized administration and philanthropy

• Foster teen programs

• Art, dance, and music therapy

• Volunteer and staff training

• Collaborative partnerships

According to Jodi Stoken, CFRE, CAP®, chief development officer, there are several strategic collaborations planned once the campus is completed with such organizations as Ballet Arizona, United Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona. “Partnerships like this with other organizations whose mission is to strengthen families means together we can assure that children, youth, and families receive high-quality wraparound services in one location.”

“Though the Child Crisis Arizona campus will have a deep, everlasting impact on the community, it will have a very small impact on the environment,” says Barry Chasse, founder of CHASSE Building Team. “It will be a net-zero project, meaning the campus will generate as much energy as it uses during a year.”

“We are using a biophilic design throughout, meaning deliberate incorporation of things like natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements for creating a more productive and healthier built environment for people,” says Doug McCord, principal at Architectural Resource Team. “It will meet the highest level of standards for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and attain a Living Futures Petal Project Certification upon its completion.”

The project is slated for completion in mid-2024.