Inspiration

Dr. Curtis Finch. 

The Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) recently completed the main construction phase of its 41st brick-and-mortar school, Inspiration Mountain. The 1,000-capacity 77,000-square-foot structure features a gym and cafeteria, baseball/softball and soccer fields, a media center, and a dedicated makerspace upon completion.

The outside shade structures protect new learning spaces and playground areas. This $21 million facility is near 57th Avenue and Happy Valley Road and was approved by the DVUSD voters in the 2019 bond.

Inspiration Mountain sits in a strategic location, as 57th Avenue will eventually be one of the vital connections between the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) factory location and Stetson Valley; the area is separated by a water aqueduct.

The vehicle bridges over the aqueduct are in place but blocked until the northern side development of the residential, commercial, and retail structures takes shape. At least 17 more supply companies for TSMC will be joining over 25 current major tech companies in Maricopa County that have settled here in the past decade.

TSMC holds the world’s largest share of silicon chip manufacturing, and the new site is projected to be three times larger than originally planned; the 1,129-acre parcel will house a $12 billion plant and support structures with the area totaling over $35 billion in investments over the next decade.

According to reports, the first phase includes 3.8 million square feet of buildings and is expected to be completed in 2024. The worldwide, 51,000-employee company expects the plant to house 1,900 high-paying tech jobs. Much like the chip manufacturer Intel had on the Chandler Unified School District, TSMC will have a big impact on DVUSD. Chips are part of “the brain” that help assist computers, cellphones, cars, refrigerators and most everything high-tech that uses electricity to complete multiple tasks.

Since 1979, the city of Phoenix has had a long-standing relationship with its Sister City, Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The city of Taipei is home to 2.7 million people with a general metropolitan area population of approximately 7 million. Taipei is located in the northern area of Taiwan and is renowned for being a technology, business and financial hub with international reach. It is believed the long-standing relationship of Taipei and Phoenix was a major factor of bringing TSMC to Arizona.

Located in the geographical “center” of DVUSD, the TSMC factory will impact DVUSD for decades. The plant’s proximity to Inspiration Mountain will help foster many new learning opportunities for students and staff. The 2020 DVUSD Principal of the Year, Dr. JoAnn Schwarting, leads the 730 students and staff of Inspiration Mountain, and is looking forward to those potential prospects as the campus grows.

The school announced on Oct. 28 that it will expand from the current K-6 configuration to K-7 next year, and K-8 the following year, feeding directly into O’Connor High School. Go Knights!

Dr. Curtis Finch is the superintendent of DVUSD and can be reached at superintendent@dvusd.org.