Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza

Scottsdale, Ariz.


Submitted By: Willmeng Construction

Owner: City of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Lead Design Firm/Civil Engineer: Ardurra

General Contractor: Willmeng Construction

Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott Structural Engineers

MEP Engineer: Wright Engineering Corp.

Architect: Lake Flato Architects

Landscape Architect: Dog Studio

Built 51 years ago, the Scottsdale Civic Center serves as both the city’s civic and arts headquarters. It is home to the city hall, a library, the Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art. While major updates to the complex were made in the 1990s and in 2015, an extensive public process resulted in the development of a master plan for the area, with the goal of creating a 10-acre park and improving the facility’s infrastructure.

City leaders were focused on achieving one major milestone for the project—to complete the West Paseo by Jan. 30, 2023, when the fanfare preceding the National Football League’s Super Bowl LVII would begin.

Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza

Photo courtesy Small Giants

A master CPM schedule sequenced construction into smaller areas, which allowed the project team to commence long-lead material procurement at just 15% design. It also enabled contractors to begin construction sooner while at the same time providing additional design time for other phases.

Upgrades to the area included creating a new picnic space called The Grove, enhancing the Marshall Garden with the addition of a small wedding lawn and botanical garden and building an interactive water and fog plaza and children’s garden with a signature playground and sculptural play features.

Additionally, a rework of the history museum courtyard included a platform that could be used for civic discourse and educational lectures as well as a green space for recreation.

During preconstruction, lead design firm Ardurra and general contractor Willmeng Construction aimed to mitigate material lead time risk by developing a procurement log organized by trade and scope. In this manner, the team coordinated on a weekly basis internally and with trade partners to track each material and ensure timely delivery. Additionally, the use of letters of intent prior to executing subcontracts helped to lock in material pricing and lead times with vendors as well.

Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza

Photo courtesy Small Giants

Scope of work on the project included bringing older plaza features up to modern standards, including the Marshall Garden fountain that was rewired and updated with modern lighting and a new water pump system.

Additionally, to minimize impacts on nearby businesses when replacing the existing water main, crews heavily phased installation of the new water main, with much of the work taking place outside of business hours.

Conserving trees and plants in the space was another priority for the project team, with the contractor documenting that it had helped to protect and maintain 158 trees during construction.

The plaza was completed on time and within budget in May 2023.

Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza

Photo courtesy Small Giants