Steele Indian School Memorial Hall

CLIENT:  The City of Phoenix, Arizona
ARCHITECT:  Swan Architects
SIZE:  14,222 square foot.
AWARDS:  Valley Forward Crescordia Award for Historic Preservation for 2008.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK:  Smith Construction Management.
CONSTRUCTION COST:  $60,000 (Phase 1, completed January 2006), $1,279,294 (Phase 2, completed November 2006), and $2,601,356 (Phase 3, completed September 2008). Note: Memorial Hall was originally built at a cost of $50,000, with most of the students providing much of the labor.
MEP ENGINEER:  Sullivan Designs, Inc.
COMPLETED:  The grand re-opening was October 2008 (original building built in 1922).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  Memorial Hall, a two-story Mission Revival style building, was constructed in 1922. The school used it for general assemblies, graduation ceremonies, and theatrical activities. In the 1930s, students began carving their names in the red brick outside the main entrance, a tradition that students continued over the ensuing decades. Because the building’s red brick exterior was preserved, those carved names are still visible. To this day, former students of the school return to the site to find the names they carved decades earlier.

During rehabilitation, the original building fabric was restored to preserve as much of the structure as possible in order to reduce the need for new materials and avoid increased landfill waste. The original maple floor was refinished and reinstalled, most of the windows were rehabilitated rather than replaced, thus saving the original wood that was used to make them in 1922, and the standards for the chairs on the balcony level were all reused in the restoration of the seating. Although many of the tin ceiling panels had been damaged when heating and air conditioning duct work was put in place after the 1940s, many of the stunning ceiling tiles were salvaged in the restoration.

Great care was taken in planning the new heating, cooling and ventilation system for the building. A central plant was installed, ductwork was concealed under the crawlspace and in the attic to minimize detrimental effects to the historic character, and insulation was added under the floor and in the attic to improve energy efficiency. New electrical and plumbing systems were designed with energy efficient lighting, low flow fixtures, and state of the art control systems to reduce long term energy consumption.

The restoration cost was just under $5 million, 75 percent of which came from 2001 and 2006 bonds. The remaining funding came from grants from the National Park Service and the Virginia Piper Charitable Trust.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Mark Greenawalt
PROJECT ADDRESS:  300 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85012-1853

*Project Lighting Design and Electrical Engineering by Mark Greenawalt, PE, LC, LEED AP while employed by Sullivan Designs, Inc.

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