What ASU’s expansion to downtown Mesa means for East Valley students

When ASU and the city of Mesa announced in February that a new campus would be developed in the downtown Mesa community, it delivered a message: ASU is trying to spread even further across the Phoenix metropolitan area.

For members of the East Valley community, the message has been heard. ASU has already put itself on the map in the downtown Phoenix and western Phoenix areas, so another campus closer to the East Mesa-based Polytechnic campus is the latest step in ASU’s goal.

Health science freshman Jared Treichel, a downtown Phoenix student originally from Mesa, said the possibility of having a campus closer to his house is convenient.

“It’d be closer to my house, and the public transportation system moves through there,” Treichel said. “Plus, there’s kind of a cool area down there.”

Treichel said friends of his from Mesa would likely see the benefit.

“I’d say it’d be beneficial for the most part, especially if they extended the light rail all the way down to the end of Mesa, along with putting a campus there," he said. "That would benefit them the most.”

For Poly students, the addition of the downtown Mesa campus, which would be closer than Tempe, would give them some appealing options for classes.

Aviation sophomore Ryan Nolan from the Polytechnic campus said he looks forward to the new campus to act as a networking site for students.

“I think it’d be really cool to have another campus with a lot of students nearby,” Nolan said. “I think building a campus in Mesa brings an opportunity for students to build a bigger sense of community.”

As for what’s going to be on the campus, Mesa Mayor John Giles said that’s still being worked out.

“Right now, there are a variety of ASU programs that are being evaluated for whether or not they’d be a good fit for downtown Mesa,” he said.

He said there may be graduate programs on campus, but all the options are still in the decision process.

“Some of the programs that were discussed are graduate level programs, and research would be a part of any graduate school program, but I think it is just too early," he said. "That question will be answered fairly soon.”

Giles said this move is as important to the city of Mesa as it is for Arizona State.

“I’ve been talking to ASU for more than a year about this idea,” he said.

These informal conversations went public when ASU and Mesa signed a memorandum of understanding in January, making their partnership official.

“The fact that we have this great atmosphere in downtown Mesa, and how close we are to the Tempe campus, it would be a nice fit for college students and for college buildings,” Giles said. “It just seems like such a natural fit, and it’s just what ASU needs and what Mesa needs.”

Read more: 

ASU to buy more land near Downtown Phoenix campus

ASU to expand to downtown Mesa

Reach the reporter at Emmillma@asu.edu or follow @Millmania1 on Twitter.

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