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After a long wait, Palo Verde Main dorm gets an upgrade

The construction site of the new Palo Verde Main building is pictured on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, on the Tempe campus. The facility will have room for more than 1,600 students.
The construction site of the new Palo Verde Main building is pictured on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, on the Tempe campus. The facility will have room for more than 1,600 students.

Cranes invade the picture-perfect Tempe skyline and the sound of trucks and drills fill the air as ASU prepares to take on the $120 million project of rebuilding freshman dormitory Palo Verde Main.

PV Main, located on the north side of campus, serves as the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering's housing complex for freshman students. Matthew Brown, executive director and assistant vice president of University Housing and Dining Services, said that the need for renovations to PV Main were long overdue.

“It was part of a strategic plan to look at long-time facilities needs,” Brown said. “We’re very excited to offer more housing options for students and modernize our housing.”

Brown said the engineering schools have grown significantly over the past several years. Due to limited space, ASU moved many freshman engineering students to University Towers, which is off-campus housing near the University. 

He said he hopes to have the towers shift back to upperclassman housing and have PV East eventually transition to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Brown said the look of PV Main will be aesthetically similar to the freshman complex Manzanita Hall and will have two bedrooms with two students in each room, connected by one bathroom.

“We think it’s a real popular floor plan that students like," Brown said. “We want freshmen to connect with their peers and have a more collaborative experience.”

In order to bring the vision to life, ASU is partnering with American Campus Communities, which has helped plan and build other ASU housing complexes like Barrett, the Honors College and Vista del Sol.

Vice President of Management Services at ACC Michael Polzin said PV Main will house more than 1,500 students, making it the biggest housing complex on the Tempe campus. The dorm will feature multiple amenities, including a multipurpose engineering space.

“This facility will feature E-Space, which is a 3,500 square foot maker lab outfitted with resources that specifically cater to the needs of the Fulton Schools students,” Polzin said in an email. “Student amenities include study spaces, communal kitchens, lounges, a private courtyard, bike parking and a fitness area.”

Despite many changes being made to the Palo Verde area on campus, many things like PV Beach and the P.O.D. Market will remain the same.

Although excited about the new complex, biomedical engineering sophomore Wanda Sihanath said she'll miss the some of the older aspects to the dorm.

“What I miss about PV Main is Devil's Greens and Devil’s Dinner,” Sihanath said. “It was the best food on campus. I definitely miss it now that it’s gone.”

Sihanath said she hopes to see a new gym, better bathroom quality and improved elevators in the new engineering complex because she will be living there when it opens in fall 2017.

“I’m very excited especially because I work with the engineering residential community,” Sihanath said. “I’m really excited to get to live there.”

Related Link:

ASU’s four main campuses undergo major construction

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