April 6, 2016

Scottsdale launches community conversations on Desert Discovery Center concept


Residents can get more information and share their views this spring on Scottsdale’s Desert Discovery Center concept. Scottsdale’s Desert Discovery Center is envisioned as an interpretive, education and research center intended to complement the McDowell Sonoran Preserve experience and be a focal point for understanding human interaction with arid environments.

The city and its nonprofit partner, Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, are hosting this “community conversations” phase of the planning process. There will be a number of ways for residents to obtain information, including at a series of public meetings beginning April 20-21. The April 20 meeting will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N Marshall Way.

The April 21 meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Highlands Church Student Center, 9050 E. Pinnacle Peak Road.

The agenda for both meetings will be the same.

Other opportunities to obtain information include a frequently asked questions site, available at ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search “DDC.” Visitors to the page can also sign up for project updates. The nonprofit Desert Discovery Center group also is available to speak with residents and business owners by presenting to local community groups.

The city is in the project planning phase for the Desert Discovery Center concept and in the process of determining what elements should be included, how large it might be and how much it would cost to build and operate.

The current planning effort has three major elements that were approved in January by the City Council:
1.   Work with the nonprofit Desert Discovery Center group to create a business plan and feasibility analysis, conduct public outreach and explore fundraising potential
2.   Begin the process to amend the city site plan at the Gateway Trailhead
3.   Hire an architect to create conceptual site and floor plans and preliminary building designs. The result will be estimated costs to build, maintain and operate the Desert Discovery Center, which will help the City Council make future decisions about whether to proceed to final design and construction.

For more information and to participate in the Desert Discovery Center community conversations, visit ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search “DDC.”