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Phoenix voters OK $184 million to fund ASU's Downtown Campus

President Crow hands out ASU hats during a block party in Phoenix Tuesday night where Mayor Phil Gordon announced the results of a bond election. Phoenix voters approved the $878.5 million bond package, which includes funding for the ASU Downtown Campus as well as city services.

Voters approved $184 million in funding for ASU's Downtown Phoenix Campus Tuesday.

Proposition 3, which will fund ASU's campus and other education and health facilities, was one of seven bond issues approved by Phoenix voters.

Almost 50,000 votes - about 63 percent - were cast in favor of Proposition 3, according to unofficial results released by the city Tuesday night.

"I love Phoenix, and I have seven new reasons to love Phoenix," Mayor Phil Gordon said at a downtown block party where he announced early results.

The rest of the $878.5 million bond package will fund city services and amenities ranging from parks and libraries to police, fire and homeland-security expenses.

"Every generation has a defining moment, and tonight, we define ours," Gordon said. "This partnership [with ASU] is only the beginning."

ASU President Michael Crow said the election results were exciting.

"We are basically expanding and building ASU to be able to take on new programs, provide better facilities to our students, expand our growth and enhance our access," Crow said.

"The people of Phoenix in a public referendum have stepped up and supported the University in the direction that we are going, and that's very rare," he added.

The bond's passage marks the first time a city government has funded a state university campus, said bond committee chairman Paul Johnson.

"We are creating a unique connection," said Johnson, a former Phoenix mayor. "We are doing something that the city has never done historically."

Crow gave Johnson and Gordon personalized ASU football jerseys at the block party and said the new partnership would help ASU in many ways.

"It will help with brand new facilities for five of our schools," Crow said. "It helps us relieve the space on our Tempe campus. It allows the journalism school and the nursing college and others to expand to their full opportunity size."

University College and the colleges of Nursing and Public Programs are scheduled to move downtown this fall. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is scheduled to make the move in fall 2008.

The Downtown Campus - which will eventually enroll about 15,000 students - is part of a larger plan to redevelop Phoenix's urban core, according to an ASU press release.

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