Article: Groundbreaking event marks start of new construction projects at all Tanque Verde USD school sites

Groundbreaking event marks start of new construction projects at all Tanque Verde USD school sites

TVUSD Governing Board and Superintendent kick off school construction projects at groundbreaking event


September 9, 2021


The Tanque Verde Unified School District marked the beginning of new construction projects on all four school campuses with a groundbreaking celebration, held at Tanque Verde High School on Tuesday, September 7th. Speakers at the event included TVUSD Superintendent, Dr. Scott Hagerman, Governing Board President, Mrs. Susan Fry, representatives of the Arizona Department of Administration, Estimating Plus Project Management and Swaim and Associates, AIA Architects. The TVUSD Governing Board members were on hand to help with the official breaking of the soil. 


The audience included members of the Tanque Verde community who supported passage of the 2020 School Improvement Bond initiative, the Bond Oversight Committee, school leaders, staff members, parents and students. The Tanque Verde High School Jazz Ensemble performed at the event in their school year debut. Due to social distancing protocols, the number of invited guests was limited.


Dr. Hagerman opened the celebration by acknowledging the many individuals who have played significant roles in the approval, design and planning processes, including the Arizona School Facilities Board, Estimating Plus LLC Project Management, Swaim Associates, and Lloyd Construction, Inc. and TVUSD school leaders, staff and community members. He remarked, “We are very fortunate to have members of our local community who are motivated to support the continued success of our school district. And equally important, we have had the continued interest and support of the Arizona School Facilities Board throughout this process.”


The district, led by Superintendent Hagerman since 2017, has been implementing a multi-year plan to ensure the continued success and achievement of students and staff. The plan includes the expansion of all school campuses, the enhancement of teacher professional development training, curriculum updates and improvements, and technology and systems upgrades. The support of the community through the passage of the 2020 School Improvement Bond initiative was a major step toward implementation of the district’s plan.


“The construction taking place in TVUSD has been a long time coming,” stated Susan Fry, Governing Board President. “We have dreamed of adding space to our campuses, but we have never had the funding to do it. We are so grateful to our community for their support of our bond that will pay for much of the work taking place. We also appreciate the School Facilities Board for their support of our district, and the funding they have contributed to a number of projects across our campuses. We also thank our teachers and administrators who have been displaced during this time of construction. We know that the end result will be amazing, and we look forward to enjoying our new spaces.”


Alan Levin, Project Management Consultant with Estimating Plus, LLC, aptly stated, “It is our duty to build and provide incubators that will enhance the fertile minds of our future generation, in order to prepare them to handle challenges as we move forward into a future that is difficult to predict… The word "groundbreaking" symbolizes far more than the literal breaking of ground.  It symbolizes the effort, the time and the hard work put in by Dr. Hagerman, the Principals, the Board, the entire dedicated team.”


The TVUSD school construction projects are expected to be completed for the 2022-23 school year, barring any unforeseen delays such as materials shortages. Construction began with demolition projects over the summer, and continuing this fall, with the removal of the old Tanque Verde District Office (TVDO) building to make way for the new Emily Gray Jr. High School Fine and Performing Arts Building; the remodeling of the Tanque Verde High School (TVHS) Administration Building, to its future use as the main TVDO building; and the removal of the TVHS Snack Shack and soon the relocation of the solar panel arrays, to make room for the new TVHS Student Commons and Science Laboratory/Classroom Building.


“We at Swaim Associates are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful school district in our own backyard to help you grow and thrive. It’s especially exciting for me having grown up here in the Tanque Verde Valley seeing the District grow from one school to where you are today,” remarked Phil Swaim, Principal Architect at Swaim. “As an architect I am the first to admit that the teachers, staff and students are the most important elements of a school. On the other hand, providing facilities that support and inspire their efforts can make a tremendous difference.”


Closing the comments was Nick Loper, School Facilities Program Administrator of the Arizona Department of Administration, which now oversees the Arizona School Facilities Board. The Arizona School Facilities Board has recently supported grants to address the building renewal needs of our existing campuses, and has approved significant funding for the new school facilities needed to support growth in the district. 

“The School Facilities Board and Department of Administration is pleased to partner with Tanque Verde Unified School District and the community of the Tanque Verde Valley. This partnership combined local taxpayer resources with State funding to add new space at Tanque Verde High School for new students coming due to the community's growth," Mr. Loper said. "We want to thank Governor Ducey for the substantial 60% increase to the new construction formula and the Tanque Verde Governing Board for their support. We are excited to continue working with Superintendent Hagerman and the Tanque Verde Unified Administration to complete this project and plan for the next.” 


According to the SFB website, The criteria to determine school district eligibility for new school facilities funding are based on an annual evaluation and approval of school district enrollment projections and the additional square footage that would be needed to maintain adequacy standards in a school district.” (


Many thanks to the TVHS Jazz Ensemble, which helped mark the occasion with upbeat charts played by the 16 piece band, led by Director Ben Johnson. 


Following the speakers, a photo session was held to mark the participation of the many people who joined in the celebration. Sincere thanks also goes out to Mr. Ryan Riffle, TVHS CTE Photo, Film & Social Media teacher, for the event photos.

Updated Monday, September 13, 2021

For more information, please contact Claire Place, Director of Communications

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