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West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, April 6, 2012


School (From Page 1)

school district’s construction director. Phoenix-based Jim O’Connor Construction is the general contractor for the entire project. The construction company is currently working on how much Phase II will cost and probably won’t have the guaranteed maximum amount until a few days before the May 8 Governing Board meeting, Axford said. All of the money for the project will come from voter-approved bonds that can’t be used on anything else, he said. The project began last summer and is

expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Phase I On April 2, Axford gave a View reporter a tour of the progress of the first phase, which began last summer, and talked about how the future phases will change the campus. The main part of Phase I was building

a new cafeteria and kitchen. While all the interior walls of classroom building 1100 were removed, several of the outer brick walls remain to “keep a tie to the past,” Axford said. The brickwork will be visible only from the outside, he said.

fire lane that cuts across campus near its back, or east, end, going from Sagebrush Street to Wigwam Boulevard. Goodyear Fire Department officials told Axford a fire lane was needed for the back side of campus because under the current setup, firefighters would have a difficult time reaching any type of emergency back there. The Goodyear Fire Department provides fire protection service to Litchfield Park.

So, as they built a new fire lane, which will be accessible only to the fire department, crews decided to add a small walking/running track along both sides of it, where people can walk rather than in the fire lane itself, Axford said. The first phase also includes building a

new kindergarten playground, installing a storm drain system, conduits for new electrical lines and expanding the northeast parking lot. Phase I will be completed around July 1, Axford said.

Phase II

Pupils will enter the cafeteria/kitchen on the north side of the building and will form a line to wash their hands, get trays and food from the east side, or kitchen area, and then will take a seat on the west side, or cafeteria area. All pupils will exit at the south side of the building, where there will be four new restrooms, two for pupils and two for staff, Axford said.

available for outside functions, such as Litchfield Park Little League, as the new cafeteria/kitchen is right across from the main baseball field on campus. “This campus has always been restroom challenged” for both pupils and staff, Axford said.

The pupil restrooms will also be made

The second phase will begin in the summer as crews begin dismantling several buildings on campus, including the gymnasium, which was originally constructed in the late 1920s; the current cafeteria, which was built in 1959; and the current administration building, which was built in the 1950s. “The biggest thing is to get the

buildings down before school starts,” Axford said of the second phase. While knocking the buildings down, the demolition crews will be looking for good pieces of brick that the district will auction off at a later date, Axford said. They will also try to remove as many

wooden planks from the gymnasium floor as possible so they, too, can be auctioned off, he said.

The project will almost double the number of restrooms the campus has, he said. The new cafeteria will also have a stage in order to make it the new site of all district Governing Board meetings, Axford said.

six wooden arch beams that hold up the ceiling in the current cafeteria. All of the beams will be incorporated into the new buildings, Axford said. The current tower/belfry is part of the gymnasium, so it will be removed. However, the new administration building will include a tower in the old mission style to keep its ties to the past and surrounding community, Axford said.

Some items the school will keep are

Another part of Phase I includes a new

Artist rendering submitted by LESD

LITCHFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL will soon get a facelift as this artist rendering shows. The $8 million multi-year project will kick into high gear this summer when the school’s current gym, cafeteria and administration buildings get knocked down.

The current gym is extremely outdated, and the basketball court takes up almost the entire floor, offering no cushion between out-of-bounds and the gym’s walls.

The north parking lot will be expanded in Phase II, adding more parking spaces and making the drive-through area much larger for parents who use the lot to drop off or pick up their children.

Phase III

The third phase will begin as the second is winding down and centers on the demolition of classroom building 900, which was built in the 1920s.

Where classroom building 900 currently sits, there will be a depressed grassy area for water retention as well as an amphitheater. Phase III also includes the removal of the portable classroom building, which was brought onto campus in the 1970s as a “temporary” facility. Forty years later, it’s about to be removed.

When the project is done, the campus will gain only eight classrooms. However, it

will be a more cost-effective school because its technology, electricity, ventilation and drainage will be upgraded, Axford said. “All of those things will be greatly

improved,” he said. “And water will flow out of campus and not back up; in the past we had to put sandbags down so water didn’t enter the library.”

Axford, who has been with the district since 1992, won’t be around to see the end of the Litchfield Elementary School project because he plans to retire this summer. His job responsibilities won’t be eliminated, but absorbed by other employees as part of a cost-cutting measure.

Axford will give a presentation on the project at 5 p.m. April 20 as part of the Last Dance event, which will be a public gathering in the old gym for former and current pupils, residents and school officials. The View will have a story about the Last Dance in next week’s paper.

Rich Ott can be reached by email at

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Public Notice for Fair Housing

The right to pursue the housing of your choice is protected by Federal and State Fair Housing Laws. The City of Avondale reminds all residents of this community that it is illegal to discriminate in the sale, rental, leasing and  nancing of housing or land to be used for the construction of housing or in the provision of brokerage services on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Discrimination can be obvious and easily recognized in the following forms:

 Refusing to show, sell or rent  Refusing to negotiate the sales price of a home  Charging more to buy, rent or asking for a larger security deposit  Insisting that you live in the family area of the rental complex  Refusing to make physical modi cations to the building for handicapped accommodations or refusing to allow an assistive animal or handicapped parking  Allowing unlawful bias to effect the appraisal of property

Discrimination can be subtle or apologetic in the following forms:  Asking questions that belittle you  Implying that they can not help you or suggest that you work with someone else  Refusing to give you services they appear to give others  Not calling you back or taking a long time to process your  le

Housing professionals subject to fair housing laws include:

 Real Estate Firms  Leasing Agents  Home Builders  Apartment Owners

 Mobile Home Dealers  Title Companies  Appraisers  Insurance Providers

If you feel you have been discriminated against, please contact the following for assistance:

Arizona Attorney General’s Of ce Civil Rights Division

1275 W. Washington Street Phoenix, Arizona 85007

602.542.5263 • 602.542.5002 (TDD) 877.491.5742 (toll free) 877.624.8090 (toll free TDD)

To  le a complaint online go to: ★ FREE SEMINAR ★

Avondale’s Neighborhood and Families Services Department has partnered with the Southwest Fair Housing Council to present a FREE seminar on fair housing on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at the Care 1st Resource & Housing Center located at 328 W. Western Ave. in Avondale.

This seminar will provide an overview of fair housing law and is geared to an audience of local realtors, property managers/owners, leasing agents and housing professionals. In addition, the workshop will offer ADRE (AZ Department of Real Estate) authorized fair housing REALTOR re-licensing credit. Information on the City of Avondale’s Homebuyer Assistance Program will also be available.

REGISTRATION: No cost to attend but registration is required as seating is limited. To register, please call Donna Gardner at (623) 333-2715 by Thursday, April 12, 2012.

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