From a new dorm at the Downtown Phoenix campus to a pedestrian bridge at Tempe, ASU has the approval to move forward with four big-budget projects.
The Arizona Board of Regents approved several projects earlier this month in a move that will impact students across ASU’s campuses.
The projects include a dorm downtown, a new research building and pedestrian bridge in Tempe, and renovations to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner building.
The Herberger fashion program, popular music degree and design and E+I programs will move to the Downtown Phoenix campus in the fall of 2021.
Jacob Pinholster, associate dean for enterprise design and operations at Herberger, said in an email that the move will hopefully provide students with new opportunities in a "rapidly evolving" industry pipeline.
"(Herberger) students are welcome to choose to continue to live on the Tempe campus or in the new downtown residential space," Pinholster said.
He said students who choose to commute have options — ASU shuttles offer free transportation to students and the light rail connects the two campuses.
The first three floors of the new dorm will provide space for the new Herberger programs coming to the Downtown Phoenix campus, ASU spokesperson Katie Paquet said.
The dorm, scheduled to be completed in fall 2021, will provide 532 beds for students coming to the Downtown Phoenix campus.
Paquet said the new dorm is a project that will hopefully alleviate the lack of student housing at the Downtown Phoenix campus.
“We have high hopes that this will help alleviate the housing problems we’ve had downtown, but what remains to be seen are enrollment figures,” Paquet said. “We can’t say definitively that this will solve it entirely, but we’re confident.”
ASU’s partnership with Phoenix-based apartment Roosevelt Point will end with the addition of the new dorm, Paquet said.
Housing availability at the Downtown campus has forced many students to look for residences outside of the University.
One of those students is Katelyn Oates, an out-of-state junior majoring in journalism. For Oates, housing availability was a large factor in choosing to go to ASU. However, when she recently applied for housing, Taylor Place, the existing dorm, was not listed in the drop-down box.
“When I went to student orientation, I was guaranteed that I would be able to live in the dorms for all four years if I wanted to,” Oates said. “We didn’t even know ASU was having a problem, there was no communication to us about it. We found everything out as we were applying for housing.”
ASU’s Tempe campus will also see projects unfold. The Interdisciplinary Science and Technology 7 building, which will be a hub for new research efforts, was granted approval for an extra $17 million to go toward the total building costs, now totaling $192 million.
Due to construction complications, the building, once scheduled for 2020, is scheduled for completion in January of 2022.
In an effort to improve transportation for both pedestrians and vehicles, ASU will build another pedestrian bridge that will cross University Drive near the intersection of Rural road. The bridge will connect the new research building with the Novus Innovation Corridor and is scheduled for completion in January of 2022.
David King, a professor in the school of geographical sciences and urban planning said the intersection is a good candidate for a bridge because of it’s crossing distance and popularity with both pedestrians and vehicles.
“Part of the challenge at Rural and University is that there’s a lot of development in that area and, on top of that, it’s a busy intersection,” King said. “As development continues, there’s going to be more pressure there.”
Increased opportunity is not limited to Los Angeles: Paquet said all of the projects have something to offer both staff and students.
Reaching beyond state lines, ASU is expected to spend $36 million on renovations for the Herald Examiner building in Los Angeles. Paquet said a presence in Los Angeles is important to not only ASU but its students as well.
“LA is a major global city and very close to Arizona,” Paquet said. “We have thousands of students who come to ASU from California, and there is the potential to increase opportunity for current students and students to come.”