By Jason Kerby
Sr. Construction Manager
Engineering and Construction Services
As we go into the consistently hot months of summer, construction of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s much anticipated Cultural Repository is off to a great start. Under direction from Engineering and Construction Services and the Cultural Resources Department, work has progressed steadily since March 9.
The project team building the new facility consists of general contractor MayDall Construction and architect ADM Group. The project is located just north of the old BIA Day School on the northeast corner of Longmore and McDowell roads.
Under the direction of the Huhugam Ki Museum and the Salt River Tribal Historic Preservation Office, the repository will serve several functions, all relating to the care, restoration and housing of cultural artifacts and documents and current NAGPRA practices. The project consists of two buildings: The larger building measures 24,562 square feet and will include administrative and museum staff support areas, collection space for museum artifacts, Community Relations storage, large rooms for permanent collections, special archive rooms, processing rooms, and two conservation laboratories for preparation of items and archeological artifacts. The second building is the 2,644-square-foot NAGPRA facility, which includes a processing room, two collection spaces and a suite for use during re-burial ceremonies. The buildings are separate because of the sensitive nature of NAGPRA remains, materials and activities.
At press time, the site had been cleared of existing structures and the building pad has been certified for construction. Construction began with the removal of several empty buildings within the secured project boundaries. During April, MayDall began the over-excavation of the building pad. Workers removed 6 feet of dirt, then replaced it, compacting and conditioning the soil to achieve a solid foundation for the two new structures.
Currently, crews are installing the underground sewer and water lines. As with all projects being guided by ECS in Salt River, the infrastructure of the Community plays an important part. The new North East Ambulatory Clinic is being built at McDowell and Country Club, and the water and sewage lines from the new repository will utilize the work currently being completed on McDowell Road. This cost-efficient use creates budget savings for the Community.
The project’s construction has remained on schedule, and final completion and the grand opening are planned for late spring/early summer of 2021.
If Community members are looking for work, the project is seeking both skilled and unskilled Community-member labor over the next year to participate in the construction phase. Please reach out to Russ Williams at SRPMIC Human Resources to inquire about upcoming opportunities with the construction team.
As of today, MayDall and its subcontractors have employed an average of 31% Community members and 5% other Natives for the overall staffing on this project. MayDall is also utilizing Community member–owned businesses: Red Mountain Engineering, Native Plumbing, Seven Stars of Arizona, Heavenly Touch Cleaners, RMG Mechanical and Dallas Professional Painting. MayDall, along with ECS, hopes to continue to create opportunities for Community members and Community member–owned businesses as we build the Community together. All the tribal departments are to be commended for their help in cultural preservation and maintenance for the Salt River Community as this project is a collaborative effort by all stakeholders.