McCarthy Building Companies is building the Chandler Unified School District’s 32nd elementary school, Robert Rice Elementary School, in southwest Gilbert near the Chandler border.
The $23 million K-6 school will have room for 800 students. The 93,000-square-foot building will include a gym/multipurpose room, media center, classrooms and administration space. The new elementary school is being built on an accelerated seven-month schedule on Ocotillo Road between Lindsay Road and Val Vista Drive.
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 long-time CUSD governing board member Robert Rice. Rice began his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and spent more than two decades working for Intel in senior management roles. He is currently 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 school. Like Weinberg, the school will offer both the Chandler Traditional Academies (CTA) education model as well as “classic” education, parents will have a choice on the type of instruction their child will receive. 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 Camille Castille, superintendent of CUSD. “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.”
The Chandler Unified School District is using school bond funds approved in the 2019 election by voters to build the school. The school will be completed in June 2020 in time for the new school year to start in July.
HDA Architects Inc. is the architect on the project and major subcontractors include Sun Valley Masonry, Procon Concrete, R&N Electric, Irontree and Midstate Mechanical.