The brand new Lukachukai Community School will open on a 44-acre site nestled in the beautiful Chuska mountain range of Lukachukai, Arizona. This K-8 school will feature a student dormitory, bus maintenance facility, community fire station, and staff housing to help retain talented teachers.
The new school will accommodate 400 students with a mission to provide a solid comprehensive curriculum, enrichment, and support for all learners including accelerated learners, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
With a mission to not only reflect but respect the culture of the Navajo people, DPS Architecture worked thoroughly within the guidelines of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to ensure the design, materials, and sustainability of the new school were never in question.
School board members, school staff, and cultural experts collaborated with the design team on the site location, layout, and inter-relationship of the building’s facilities to ensure the building met the goals of all stakeholders.
The design team at DPS worked with Nez FCI for the construction of the project. This Navaho-owned construction company hired over 400 workers for the project, 90% of which were members of the Navajo Nation.
Work on the project began in January 2020 and is expected to be completed in summer 2022 in time for the 2022-2023 school year.
The Finished Product
The completed project will not only be a school building, but it will be a complex to serve both school and community needs. The project comes complete with multiple age-appropriate play areas to serve the wide developmental ranges of its students.
The entire complex is both student and community-minded in its design. The complex will feature several multipurpose athletic fields that will serve not only the school but the community at large.
The complex also features 19 staff housing units to help with the retention of teachers as well as a maintenance facility for school buses to take care of immediate repairs. The complex will also house a firetruck facility which will assist the community in emergency response situations.
This state-of-the-art facility was also designed and built with sustainability in mind. As such, the Lukachukai Community School will open for the new school year with LEED Gold certification. In all, the new school complex will give the Navajo nation a 21st-century learning environment that strives to respect the past.
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