This new academic complex creates a bold identity for the college and reflects its commitment to students and the local community. The Science and Agriculture Center merges interdisciplinary science instruction with sustainable and community programs. Physically and operationally, the building is designed to celebrate the agriculture of Yuma. A new 5MW solar array takes the campus completely “off the grid.” The system monitoring goes beyond energy production to provide learning opportunities for green technology classes. Energy meters let students track production versus consumption. The cafeteria waste is processed as part of the instruction; compost is used on the educational fields and sold to local farmers.
The Community Building connects students and faculty through overlapping paths and visual connections between spaces inside and out. The new front door is flanked with student services and space for conferences and cultural events. The distinctive exterior wall panels of both buildings reflect the rich textures of the desert, the intense blue sky, and the students who pass by.
The first and largest publicly-owned PV array west of the Mississippi River incorporates observation decks and monitoring devices to serve as an educational tool. The system provides more than 125% of the college’s energy needs and will reduce consumption by $62 million over the next 30 years.
Arizona Western College
AIA Arizona Salt River Project Sustainable Award, 2012
AIA Arizona Merit Award, 2012
AIA Kansas City Citation Award, 2012
Metal Magazine 1st Place Design Award, 2009