SPS+ Architects is pleased to share our story with you. Our firm has extensive experience providing architectural,
engineering, and interior design services for new construction, renovation, and additions for over 45 years in Indian
Country. We have provided services from small maintenance roof repairs to major additions and new construction on
many tribal communities including Navajo Nation, San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Ak Chin Indian Community. With
our local experience and commitment to community, we have assembled the right team to successfully deliver all
architectural and engineering services. What makes us the right team for you?
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP - Architecture is more than just delivering a building, it’s about the students, families and
community elders who will use these buildings for years to come. It is important to our firm that we build a strong
partnership with our clients. We have had many successful projects over the past two decades of service to local area
QUALITY SERVICE and UNDERSTANDING - We are here to help design a brighter future for each community we
work with. We help the community achieve its project goals by assisting with coordination and management of all
requirements for project work on tribal communities, from Federal, state and local codes, ordinances, utilities and
other policies. We listen and understand the impact of remote sites, dust storms, the need for maintenance-driven
approaches as well as the importance of culturally appropriate designs.
PROVEN PRACTICES - SPS+ Architects has an extensive portfolio of tribal projects. Our commitment to realizing our
client’s vision is one reason 9 out of 10 of our clients call on us for multiple projects. Our firm’s philosophy centers on
approaching every project as an individual case with unmatched communication and responsiveness provided to our
client throughout the project. This point of view regularly yields innovative, project-specific solutions. You can rest
assure that our designs for your project will meet and exceed your expectations while preserving the quality, budget,
SPS+ Architects looks forward to the opportunity and the honor of working with your community on your project.
Together we can design a brighter future for your community while incorporating designs that offer durable, culturally
relevant, and cost-effective solutions.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Robert L. Pian, AIA, NCARB William Pittenger, CSI Richard K. Begay, Jr, AIA
Partner Partner Associate
SPS+ Architects is an architectural firm that has been dedicated to providing design services across Arizona since 1960. The Native
American sector continues to be a key focus.
SPS+ Architects has worked with many tribal communities for more than three decades providing design, planning, and consulting
engineering services for community master-plans, municipal facilities, cultural centers, schools, and housing. As architects, we design in
the context of the community where valuable cultural input and sharing of ideas ensures all-inclusive understanding towards building
culturally sensitive and community-driven projects.
While our innovative design solutions have extended nationally and beyond, our primary focus as a firm has always been on our work
here in Arizona. We have made a point to reach out to Arizona’s under-served, minority, and rural populations. In many cases, we have
developed long-term relationships with these clients spanning decades and multiple projects. This longevity is a direct result of our
focus on customer service and delivering a quality product that meets and exceeds client expectations.
We have served 10 different public schools on the Navajo Nation since 1989 as well as several BIA
schools and charters. We were able to do this by designing schools specific to each community
ROBERT L. PIAN
Our studio teams are led by design professionals who each have exceptional expertise, insight, and connection with the communities
they serve. The Native American sector is led by Richard K. Begay Jr, an enrolled Navajo tribal member, Robert Pian, and Bill Pittenger
with additional support staff of partners, associates and directors. The team’s impressive resume of Native American design over 45 years
heightens an understanding of tradition and modern by moving back and forth in a manner that responds humanly.
RICHARD K. BEGAY JR., DINÉ ROBERT L. PIAN WILLIAM PITTENGER MMAARRKKDDAAVVEENNPPOORRTT
Associate Partner Partner AAIAIA--RReeggisistteerreeddAArrcchhititeecctt
AIA - Registered Architect AIA - Registered Architect in RA - Registered Architect
in Arizona in Arizona, Colorado in Arizona Associate
and New Mexico RA - Registered Architect
NCARB JEREMY BLOOMER
AIA - Registered Architect
Our team has been working with tribal communities for over three decades. Herb Schneider, retired principal emeritus, has
successfully worked on the Navajo Nation providing key management and design leadership to schools. His personality,
communication style, and value as a distinctive architect is why community members and districts select SPS+ Architects for repeat
With that foundation and our esteemed leadership, our studio includes 20% tribal members in key design and management roles. Yet
more importantly is the collective diversity and talent of the entire studio.
Our understanding of area tribal cultures and their way of life, along with our role as architects and planners has allowed us to develop
unique approaches that are not only creative and appropriate, but serves each client with the best service. Our first step is to listen to
Owner Decision Making
Turnaround decisions from the Tribe are critical to a project’s schedule. For projects to be successful, we work with team
members, tribal directors, and community elders on identifying critical benchmarks needing tribal approval. They may
include cost analysis checks, design phase milestones, community cultural events, or funding deadlines.
Through our years of working with many Arizona tribal communities, we understand the importance of a community’s
history, people, mountains — and even its animals. We will work closely with each tribal community in understanding
these special relationships along with other socially and culturally sensitive areas.
Our team understands firsthand how tribal communities respond to a project’s timelines. Community involvement
and open town hall presentations are critical to the project’s success in addition to seeking Elder wisdom, which
is not only respected but vital.
OUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Our passion for design extends to the people who will not only use but who will inherit the buildings as a place for working, learning, and
living. We firmly believe in place-based designs that are inspirational and memorable. Places that whisper silently the profoundness of a
It is our intention for the designs we infuse carry the spirit of place by reflecting the community’s voice.
The key to facilitating this process is listening, open participation, and involvement. We include clients early on through design meetings,
Tribal council presentations, or simply in small group discussions so that the design process, through constant feedback, represents authentic
planning for the people who entrust us. Gathering information from “story-keepers” goes beyond conventional planning. Seldom do you have
a proven team that is balanced, dedicated, and aspires excellence on seeking this information. Beyond the willingness and interest, there is a
special blending of talent working together as visionaries — we bring a great team to design your vision.
The SPS+ design team included the District and High School early in the planning process, starting with the education specifications, which included feasibility studies for site options.
The process enable us to better understand the overall aspects of building on an occupied campus and with a minimal site area.
DR. TOMMIE YAZZIE
RED MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
SPS+ Architects is full-service architectural firm that provides the following services to our clients.
• Architectural Design • Acoustical Engineering and Design
• Planning • Life Cycle Cost Analysis
• Interior Design • Energy Auditing
• Master Planning • Construction Administration
• Feasibility Studies • Code Analysis
• Construction Procurement
• Facilities Condition Assessments • Daylighting Studies and Design
• Programming • Value Engineering
• Construction Documents • Historic Preservation
• Project Management • LEED Design and Management
• Building Information Modeling (BIM) • Cultural Facilitation
• 3D Rendering and Animation Studies • Stakeholder Facilitation
• Furniture Specification and Full Fit-out
We also partner with our specialty engineering consultants with structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical services.
ROBERT L PIAN
“Quality, service and attention to detail are the SPS+ keys to success”
Our firm has been organized by integrated teams in order to manage each project. A project leader will be the primary point of contact on
addressing issues, community concerns and ultimately, the project vision. Our team structure is carefully assembled to provide all-inclusive
services from the master planning process, wall details, and even in construction ensuring continuity from start to finish.
The approach we take on your community project is to understand thoroughly the investment you will undertake. Since our inception, our
business model has been to be your partner in delivering this investment and to guide you through the process toward your goals. We will
listen and embrace your story; and co-create a meaningful story to the people who matter the most.
Our goal is build a strong partnership. We, as an integrated team, will provide necessary services to deliver effective solutions. We will
follow up with any type of action plans and provide constant feedback to preserve visibility. To achieve this:
• We will collaborate with the community team in a simple, open communication style.
• Develop creative ways of communicating information – including documenting.
• Monitor all focus meetings and pertinent community feedback.
• Align with community experts to ensure the project truly reflects and honors culture, history, and the land.
• Develop relevant outreach materials such as surveys, social media campaign, and prints.
Listening to our elders is a way of inheriting critical knowledge of who we are as indigenous
people. As children we are taught to respect the world we live in. We understand there is
interconnectedness of all things, and know a sense of mystique exists. We appreciate a
delicate ratio among junipers, the canyons, and water for it provides a way of life.
OUR NATIVE AMERICAN PROJECTS IN ARIZONA
• Shonto Government Complex • Shonto Artist and Traveler Center • Red Mesa CTE Center
• Red Mesa Cafeteria
• Tuba City Teacher’s Housing • Red Valley High School
• Tuba City Jr. HS Cafeteria • Red Valley Site Improvements
• Tuba City Cultural Center • Tsinnaabaas Ha’bittiin Elementary School (The Gap School)
• Tuba City High School Replacement
• Tuba City 6th Grade Classrooms • Ch’ooshgai Community
• Grey Hills Academy Complete Re-Roofing • Tohatchi Sewage Lagoon
• Cameron Chapter House • Dine College Fitness Center
• Cameron Elementary
• Kayenta Cultural Center
• Piñon Autotech Center • Kayenta Housing Projects
• Piñon Elementary Replacement • Kayenta Strip Mall
• Piñon Junior High & High School • Kayenta USD Projects
• Piñon Sport Fields & Locker Rooms • Navajo Transit System
• Jeehdeez’a Housing • Window Rock USD Projects
• SRP-MIC Fire Station Addition • Sanders Sport Fields & Locker Rooms
• SRP-MIC Lehi Gathering Area • Sanders USD Energy Upgrades
• Ak-Chin Archives and Museum • George Gardner Performing Arts Center
• Ak-Chin Library and Education Resource Center
• Northland Pioneer College -
• D5 Metal Farms Building • Holbrook
• Women Infant Children Building Renovation • Winslow
• Show Low
• Canyon Day Housing
• White River Housing
• Bylas Retail Center
• San Carlos District Office Remodel & Addition
• San Carlos High School, Primary School & Vocational Building
• San Carlos Teachers Housing
BLUESTONE COMMUNITY AMERICAN INDIAN VETERAN’S MEMORIAL
HOUCK, AZ PHOENIX, AZ
SPS+ Architects and Swaback Partners worked with the SPS+ Architects recently completed a conceptual design for
Navajo Housing Authority on developing designs for the the American Indian Veterans Memorial Organization. The
Bluestone Community, a revolutionary culturally-focused Memorial, a unique interpretive landscape design, is proposed
and sustainable 200-unit master planned community. The to be located at Steele Indian School Park in Central Phoenix.
project includes apartment complexes, housing for seniors The site is west of the water pond and north of the historic
and veterans, and single-family dwellings, a community Indian School buildings.
center, commercial facilities as well as indoor and outdoor
recreation gathering spaces including a park with trails and Steele Indian School Park is located within the central core of
play areas. downtown Phoenix. Nestled in a diverse neighborhood, the
park serves as a place for recreation and public activities. Its
A major factor in the design of the Bluestone Community purpose, as originally planned, has been to provide an open,
is a focus on sustainability from smart, green principles green space within the cultural and historic context of place – a
to strategic economic-focused approaches to planning. place that has untouched beginnings yet lasting memories to
All housing units feature high-efficiency plumbing, high many. It is here the Memorial will co-exist with its surroundings,
performing building envelops, lighting with occupancy bridging history with the timelessness of urban renewal, and
sensors and appliances as well as an energy education where indigenous tribes continue to offer a sacred voice.
program to encourage sustainable practices.
Owner American Indian Veterans Memorial Organization
Owner Navajo Housing Authority Site 1.02 Acres
Size Building 200 Units
AK-CHIN HIM-DAK ECO MUSEUM WICKIUP VILLAGE RETAIL CENTER
AK-CHIN INDIAN COMMUNITY, AZ BYLAS, AZ
A renovated museum, new state-of-the-art classroom Wickiup Village accommodates a variety of local Apache
building, and dynamic site renovations draw community businesses in a dynamic and inviting setting reminiscent
members together to interact as they learn about and of an Apache village. The design features a front plaza
preserve traditional culture. The museum and community housing an amphitheater, stalls for vendors, native
education center serves as a nexus point for the Ak-Chin vegetation and trellises to host local performances,
Indian Community. fairs and events. All tenant suites were partially finished
to assist startup Apache businesses.
Site improvements were also provided and special
attention was paid to an existing historical Owner Bylas District Economic Enterprise
shade structure, making sure the new design Building 9,300 Square Feet
not only avoided its demolition but highlighted Site 64,460 Square Feet
Owner Ak-Chin Indian Community
Building 19,200 Square Feet
Site 5 Acres
STEPPING STONE 3 SAN CARLOS DISTRICT OFFICE
PHOENIX, AZ SAN CARLOS, AZ
Stepping Stone 3 will be a unique, supportive housing program Our renovation of San Carlos’ 1930’s historic schoolhouse
with abundant features nestled onto an existing campus. The revitalized the facility with a new function while
proposed 45,000 SF building will have a blend of services incorporating authentic period details. This relic of
such as a multipurpose room with small kitchenette and offices San Carlos History had suffered from years of neglect,
located on ground level with residential studio units located compromising the integrity of the structure. We gutted
above. The new housing units intend to serve homeless and remodeled the entire building and built an addition to
individuals or those at risk of homelessness with housing and re-purpose the site into a new district office.
Staying true to the original tufa stone material was
Stepping Stone 3 will integrate with the existing Stepping a priority for the District; however, tufa stone is no
Stone 2 and supportive facilities. The lot offers urban public longer available in Arizona. Rather than settling for an
common areas, office space for property management, a inappropriate substitute, SPS+ consulted an artist to create
meeting room that offers multipurpose use as well as kitchen new stone molds to match quarried tufa stone. The result
for residents and community functions. This location is ideal as bears an impeccable resemblance to the original and
public transportation is nearby. exceeded both the client’s and our own expectations.
Owner Native American Connections Owner San Carlos Unified School District
Size Building 42 Units Size Building 12,114 Square Feet
Site 1.37 Acres
SAN CARLOS RICE CAMPUS RED MESA CTE ADDITION
SAN CARLOS, AZ TEEC NOS POS, AZ
Over the past 16 years, SPS+ Architects has formed a close SPS+ provided a new classroom building as well as
partnership with San Carlos USD, remaining the District’s renovations on existing classrooms for Red Mesa’s CTE
primary architect through three successive administrations. program. The new building features classrooms for
Throughout this time, we redeveloped the District’s welding, building trades, broadcast media, marketing,
Rice Campus piece-by-piece, finishing it off in 2014 with multimedia and nursing/health.
this crowning addition featuring two new buildings for
administration and classrooms. The second floor of the Our renovation spanned the high school’s science wing,
classroom building features an open study area with casual providing new lab spaces and a prep room. Each lab was
furniture and operable walls for complete flexibility. The modernized to accommodate earth sciences, biology and
project also entailed a state-of-the-art campus security chemistry with new casework, teachings stations, and a
system developed specifically for San Carlos USD. shared prep room. SPS+ Architects is collaborated with
CM@R and the school district regarding construction on an
Owner San Carlos Unified School District occupied campus.
Size Building 42,102 Square Feet
Owner Red Mesa Unified School District
Size Building 20,000 Square Feet
8681 E VIA DE NEGOCIO
SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85258