New school design prepares students for learning

When the 2016-2017 school year kicks off next August, an eager class of kindergartners won’t be the only new additions to Marana Unified School District. A new elementary school in Gladden Farms will open its doors for the first time.  Recently, Chasse Building Team, the firm contracted to construct the new school, offered a tour of this new site, and the Marana Newsroom is ready to provide you with a glimpse inside these new walls.


Reading is perhaps the most important skill for young students to learn, which is why this reading nook is at the heart of the new school.  Located just behind the main entrance, teachers will be able to take their students to this comfortable spot for dedicated reading time.

This new school embraces the importance of collaborative learning.  Every classroom enjoys one moving glass wall which teachers can configure in different ways in order to create the perfect learning environment for every lesson.  The walls will be among the final installations, but this open space shows where one of them will soon stand.

Classrooms are far from the only places where learning can happen, and this new school is well equipped to provide creative spaces for students to engage with each other and their teachers.  This central staircase will conveniently double as bleachers, allowing students to use this area for presentations and assemblies.

School safety is always a top priority, and this new school includes some of the latest technology to keep students secure.  Double doorways on arterial hallways are magnetized, so that all doors can be closed with the push of a button.

Just off the cafeteria and auditorium space is a music room.  Soon, it will echo with the cacophony of children plucking their first violin strings and tooting their first horns.  Across the hall is a PE room, where students can exercise when it’s too hot or cold to go outside.

Throughout the school year, Arizona’s weather means that students can enjoy comfortably eating their lunch outside, but sometimes, it’s just too hot or cold.  This canopy offers the best of both worlds.  With a roof two-stories above the ground and large roll-up doors, this feature will provide extensive opportunities for students to get outdoors.  However, when the weather doesn’t cooperate, all the school has to do is roll down those doors and enjoy the climate-controlled inside space.

During the early stages of construction, Chasse built a “mock-up wall,” allowing the firms of BWS Architects and Winslow & Partners to provide early feedback.  After all, it’s much easier to alter a wall before it’s built than afterwards.

Throughout construction, this site has seen up to 133 workers industriously laboring to complete the school by June 15.  Not only are they on target to meet that goal, but they recentlycelebrated 100 straight days without an accident.  Safety is a priority for the Town, Marana Unified School District, and the Chasse Building Team, so this accomplishment is certainly worthy of a burger and a hot dog.


On August 8, 2016, an army of young scholars will descend on this new elementary school.  Just a year ago, this site was nothing more than a graded patch of dirt.  Soon, though, it will begin educating a new generation of Marana students.  This innovative building will provide a creative space for kids to explore new knowledge and engage with the world around them.  The Chasse Building Team offered nearly 100 visitors a glimpse into this new school, and it was clear that more than a few of them wanted to figure out how they themselves could re-enroll in kindergarten.  Unfortunately for them, they’re probably a little too big for the desks.

In order to bring this project to fruition, Marana Unified School District has worked closely with the Town of Marana.  Staff from the Town’s planning department has provided input at every stage in order to ensure that this new building fits into the long-term vision for this community.  With this strategic mindset, this school is well-positioned to serve students for generations.  That achievement is only possible due to the close relationship between MUSD and the Town of Marana, a relationship which embodies what makes Marana an All America City.