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  • Writer's pictureArizona Contractor & Community

McCarthy Tops Out Matador Activity Center at Yuma’s Arizona Western College

“Topping out a project like the Matador Activity Center is an important milestone to mark the great progress our team is making,” says Jakob Lund, project manager at McCarthy Building Companies. “On site and around Arizona Western College’s (AWC) campus, you can feel the excitement for what the new building will bring to the students and staff. We’re proud to help make the college’s vision of an enhanced student engagement experience a reality.”


The new $17.5 million building will serve more than 11,000 students, features a two-story, 45,000-square-foot building set on 3.5 acres within the campus, and will open in fall 2023.


Lund goes on to say that the biggest construction-related challenges on the project are primarily tied to current market conditions and the demand for construction trade workers. “Our industry as a whole continues to struggle to have enough skilled workers to build projects,” he says. “In addition, our project team is focused on completing the building envelope before the summer monsoon storm season. The current weather conditions in the area, combined with workforce challenges, are impacting this aspect of the project and have our teams working hard to maintain the schedule.”


The most unusual aspect of constructing the Matador Activity Center is the antenna tower structure on the building for broadcasting out to other towers and stations around the state. “It's been a unique experience to coordinate with the radio and TV stations to ensure that the structure supports the many different devices that will be mounted on it and that it is correctly positioned for the transmissions,” Lund says.

Located at 2020 South Avenue 8E in Yuma, the Matador Activity Center will include a lecture hall, multiple instructional modalities, shared common areas, conference rooms, maker space, an eatery, game areas, a state-of-the-art multimedia center, and an esports arena.


The multimedia center will house the KAWC radio station and broadcast television studio with an emphasis on modern technology. Students and the public can observe behind-the-scenes production through glass walls and TV monitors.

In addition, the center will provide honors students with a sanctuary to study and collaborate on group projects, a food pantry and clothing program for disadvantaged students named Andale’s Pantry, and 13,000 square feet of administrative space on the second floor.


“Achieving topping out on the Matador Activity Center is exciting and brings our objective of further contributing to the student experience at Arizona Western College and serving future generations closer to realization,” said AWC President Dr. Daniel Corr. “We’re thrilled to see the progress on the building and look forward to opening it up to our students and staff this fall.”


The project is funded through board-approved revenue bonds for the college's capital-building efforts. Revenue bonds do not raise taxes for local taxpayers in Yuma and La Paz County; instead, they guarantee revenue to pay off bonds.


To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.

This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, May/Jun 2023 issue, Vol. 12, No. 3.

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