Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Early Childhood Education Center

Scottsdale, Arizona

  • FIRM

    DLR Group


    Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

  • AREA

    53,424 sq.ft.





Using Pima-Maricopa legends that assert cultural identity, this program is the first phase of a master-planned site that addresses the needs of 560 Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community preschool, kindergarten and Head Start children in a pre-K complex.

The pre-K complex was designed to provide a source of individuality to the three ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$108.00CITATIONSpecial CitationFEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized groups: kindergarten, Head Start and childcare. In keeping with the culturally sensitive design concept, each grouping is separated from each other using the building forms and wrought-iron fencing, which simulate the ribs of the indigenous Saguaro cactus.

Numerous structures, representative of the Pima-Maricopa Indian culture, were designed to allow for indoor and outdoor learning. The ribbed metal roofing takes on the form and color of Red Mountain, a sacred landmark for the community.

The key identifiers of this project include:

Separate grade-level buildings adjacent to dedicated outside play areas; facility designed for future elementary and middle school expansion; community involvement in design and planning; a fundamental change in building design; separate student-function identity; pedestrian safety and safe traffic flow; room to add a gymnasium, media center and possibly an auditorium.


"A modern building that will stand the test of time. Brilliant understanding of art, culture and design in relation to a unique program and client"—Architectural Portfolio 2000 jury


Photographer: ©Bill Sperry