Proposed desert education facility makes comeback

Posted: Updated:
Desert EDGE is a proposed desert education facility at the Gateway and McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdate) Desert EDGE is a proposed desert education facility at the Gateway and McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdate)
The proposed center will improve worldwide understanding of arid ecosystems. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale) The proposed center will improve worldwide understanding of arid ecosystems. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale)
The center will be located south of the Gateway Trailhead. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale) The center will be located south of the Gateway Trailhead. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale)
Research and training at the institute are expected to focus on understanding the many types of links within ecosystems in drylands, particularly how they are affected by human activities. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale) Research and training at the institute are expected to focus on understanding the many types of links within ecosystems in drylands, particularly how they are affected by human activities. (Source: Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The proposed Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale looks a lot different from how it did the last time it was presented to the Scottsdale City Council.

Now known as Desert EDGE (Encounters, Discovery, Global, Education), the construction project was rejected by the public in September 2016.

[RELATED: Public won't vote on controversial Scottsdale preserve project, for now]

Proposed again on Monday in partnership with the Arizona State University’s Global Drylands Institute, the new compact educational facility is designed to inspire citizen scientists to value, thrive in and conserve desert environments.

“Developing Desert EDGE as envisioned would improve worldwide understanding of arid ecosystems,” said Wellington Reiter, senior advisor to Arizona State University President Michael Crow.

The plan to build the $61.2 million facility will not include new taxes to fund the project. DDCS recommends that the project be funded by private sector donations, and existing bed and preserve tax funds.

In addition to its new proposed price tag, the environmental footprint that the center has is greatly reduced.

The previous design that was rejected by the public set aside 30,000 acres of desert land and required bulldozing the natural environment to construct a building.

The new facility will occupy 10 existing buildings located on 5.34 acres of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Desert EDGE is not an air-conditioned museum, according to Swaback Partners architect John E. Sather.

The site will take advantage of view corridors and interpretive courtyards with minimal visual impact from the street and surrounding neighborhoods.

“It’s a living structure that is very much integrated into the desert, and fulfills many principles of biomimicry, where we’re really interfacing with the desert as one,” Sather said.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • 100+ protesters fight to preserve Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix

    100+ protesters fight to preserve Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix

    Sunday, August 20 2017 10:45 PM EDT2017-08-21 02:45:39 GMT
    More than 100 people came out to show they wanted the Chinese Cultural Center preserved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)More than 100 people came out to show they wanted the Chinese Cultural Center preserved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The future of the Chinese Cultural Center located near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is up in the air and people wanted to show their support for the historical spot in the Valley. 

    More >

    The future of the Chinese Cultural Center located near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is up in the air and people wanted to show their support for the historical spot in the Valley. 

    More >
  • Lemonade stand at business helps raise money for Phoenix school

    Lemonade stand at business helps raise money for Phoenix school

    Sunday, August 20 2017 8:37 PM EDT2017-08-21 00:37:58 GMT
    A lemonade stand fundraiser was held at Luci's at the Orchard. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)A lemonade stand fundraiser was held at Luci's at the Orchard. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    A business in north-central Phoenix used National Lemonade Day to help a local school.

    More >

    A business in north-central Phoenix used National Lemonade Day to help a local school.

    More >
  • Caught on camera: Armed suspect steals cash from Walgreens

    Caught on camera: Armed suspect steals cash from Walgreens

    Sunday, August 20 2017 6:40 PM EDT2017-08-20 22:40:51 GMT
    Police said this man stole money from a Walgreens in the west Valley. (Source: Silent Witness)Police said this man stole money from a Walgreens in the west Valley. (Source: Silent Witness)

    A man armed with a gun stole cash from a register at a Phoenix Walgreens and it was all caught on camera.

    More >

    A man armed with a gun stole cash from a register at a Phoenix Walgreens and it was all caught on camera.

    More >