Case Study: John McCain III Elementary

John S. McCain III Elementary School; 3170 S 247th Ave, Buckeye, AZ 85326

Architect: Orcutt | Winslow; Phoenix
General Contractor: Chasse Building Team; Tuscon
Installer: Sky Design Concepts LLC; Phoenix
Translucent Wall System Manufacturer: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.; Pittsburgh

Virtual Tour:


Buckeye, AZ students and faculty are housed in a learning facility more innovative than ever before, the John S McCain III Elementary school. Dedicated to the late Senator John S. McCain III, the facility pays homage to his military experience as a fighter jet pilot with a “take flight” theme.

Inside this 95,000 sq. ft. facility, students focus on a C-STEM curriculum. The school is equipped with modern features, like rolling desks and chairs in programming labs. Over 20 classrooms, learning centers, a food court, flex-spaces, and outdoor courtyards are just a few of the features this building boasts.

To incorporate daylight into this building, architects Orcutt Winslow chose EXTECH’s polycarbonate Lightwall system for the east and west elevations of the common area. 6150 sq. ft. of EXTECH’s Lightwall 3440 was installed throughtout the building. The entrance, designed to look like the wing of an aircraft, is wrapped in the 3440 system. EXTECH’s Lightwall 3440 system incorporates 40mm tongue-and-groove panels. The 40mm opal panels were chosen for exceptional daylighting without glare, while providing outstanding insulating value—a necessity in the heat of Arizona.

The construction of this project was tightly coordinated and completed in just 8 months. To ensure a smooth installation, the Lightwall 3440 was factory fabricated. The tongue-and-groove panels click together for easy assembly without the need for leak-prone horizontal joints. The legacy of late Senator McCain is one that is honored in this school, according to Dr. Kristi Wilson, Superintendent of Buckeye Elementary School District.

“We are determined to have Senator McCain represented by more than his name on the front of the building. This will be a school that reverberates with his presence. His energy. His curiosity. His honor. Not as some sort of memoriam, rather, as a place where students aspire to exemplify the traits so identified with Senator McCain. A place where students could aspire to be their best selves, just like the Senator. A place that provides students a way to achieve lofty goals for themselves, their community, their state, and their country.”


If you would like to learn more about this project or our LIGHTWALL 3440, we're more than happy to chat! Please contact us for more information.