Students and University faculty celebrated the grand opening of the new Downtown campus Sun Devil Fitness Complex at Civic Space Park on Tuesday.
The $25 million project was a partnership between the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA and ASU. The facility has five floors featuring a gymnasium, weight and cardio space, multi-purpose space, indoor track, student lounge and rooftop pool.
Students had access to the facility at the start of the semester. ASU President Michael Crow said student leadership was instrumental in designing the facility conceptually. The structure was paid for in part with a $75 facility fee paid each semester by students.
“This is a decision on their part — on this next generation of millennials,” Crow said. “This is the learning environment they think they can prosper in. This downtown, urban, diverse setting has all the amenities necessary to advance their college career.”
Crow said the new facility reaffirmed ASU’s role as a partner to the city of Phoenix in economic development.
“This is about the … the movement of Phoenix to a more broadly conceptualized economy,” Crow said. “People often don’t think about higher education as a critical element of economic development, but those are people who haven’t thought it through.”
Before the construction of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, downtown students primarily used the YMCA. Students will be able to access both the newly renovated YMCA and the complex, because two buildings are connected on the first floor.
George Scobas, president and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA, said the partnership between ASU and the YMCA began in 2006 and continued to meet student needs.
Scobas said he believed the creation of the new facility would unite students, downtown residents and business people.
“The new building not only expands the ASU Phoenix campus, it really connects our communities,” he said. “I’m confident this partnership will become a benchmark for other metropolitan cities.”
The public will have full access to the first four floors of the facility, though the fifth floor and its rooftop pool is strictly reserved for ASU students. The facility is open to students from every campus and is expected to have a bicycle co-op by the fall.
Public policy sophomore and Undergraduate Student Government Downtown President Frank Smith III said he liked how the building was specifically designed for students.
“There’s a group fitness room, there’s wellness workshops and there are a lot of things promoting health and wellness at the downtown location,” Smith said. “We’re the only place at ASU that has a rooftop pool, and I always hear great feedback about the facility.”
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