This Pre K-6 school serves children and families from Districts 3, 4 and 5 of the Gila River Indian Community. Located in District 5, the school is surrounded by cultivated farmland and in a region which has historically been the agricultural hub for the Akimel O'otham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) peoples. The school focuses on student's global readiness while maintaining the Akimel O'otham Ñeo'ok and Himdag. The campus provides an immersive cultural experience, helping to preserve the languages, stories and traditions of the tribes.
The layout of the campus takes inspiration from the agricultural fields that sustained the Akimel O'otham and Pee Posh and the canals they were so skilled in devising and constructing. Classroom cluster and core/community buildings are organized around a central ribbon of green space. The campus includes indoor and outdoor commons areas that provide each grade level cluster a space for flexible instruction.
On the western edge of the campus is an integrated Agriculture-Cultural Arts-Language-Applied Arts building. This building supports an exciting and immersive program bringing together the practical, scientific, historical and cultural underpinnings of agriculture. Raised and traditional waffle beds surround the building and are dispersed throughout the campus. To celebrate water, several features were designed to connect students to the life sustaining cycle of rain and renewal.
In addition to a dedicated sensory classroom, playgrounds and all campus buildings were designed in alignment with Universal Design for Education principles and support inclusive experiences for all members of the school community. Having worked with a select group of parents and elders, the project incorporates a robust artwork program that expresses the creativity, ingenuity, culture and traditions of the Community.