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Cranes, trucks and neon vests: An overview of ASU construction projects

The Tempe and West Valley campuses will see hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects finalized in the next two years

ASU's growing student population and catalog of academic programs call for constant expansion and investment in University facilities. To compensate, many large construction projects are being worked on across the four Valley campuses. Still, several massive Tempe and West Valley campus projects are kicking into the last building phase. 

Here are some of the most significant projects the University is developing across the Tempe, Downtown, West Valley and Polytechnic campuses. 

Tempe campus

The Tempe campus has more than a dozen projects in progress – from minor classroom renovations to the complete redevelopment of the West side of campus in what is being called a "new academic district."

"The Tempe campus has been built in phases over the years, kind of organically, as demand has increased for student enrollment," Alex Kohnen, vice president of facilities development and management at ASU, said. "As Tempe has grown, we have the need to increase the amount of square footage. But unfortunately, there's no surefire way to increase the amount of land we have, so we've had to go more vertical."

Wilson Hall replacement

In the spirit of "going vertical," ASU is replacing Wilson Hall – a nearly 70-year-old building before it was demolished – with a five-story classroom and office building.

According to Kohnen, the old classroom buildings on the west side of campus became impractical as the "pedagogy," or teaching methods, have modernized and require new infrastructure.

READ MORE: Wilson Hall to be demolished, replaced with new building after nearly 70 years of operation

The new building will have three upper floors overlooking the bottom two floors to create a "canyon" on the ground floor where pedestrians can travel around the area without entering the building.

"We're allowing the building to jut out into part of Forest Mall there, but in exchange for that reduction and flow of pedestrian traffic, we've added a canyon through the building to allow students to continue to move north to south on campus, but the benefit there is that is shaded now," Kohnen said.

The new building will also have a dedicated area for Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services. 

The project's budget is just over $113 million and is expected to be completed in August 2024, just in time for the start of the fall semester.

Tempe campus academic and office space

In addition to the Wilson Hall replacement, another academic and office space building is being constructed in the "new academic district."

The five-story, $88 million building is being built with unique classrooms for creative programs like animation, photography, art and music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. 

"The facility will host state-of-the-art dark rooms, creative maker spaces, an e-sports lounge, large computer labs and 3D printing technology," the University's facilities management website reads. 

Kohnen said that the Herberger Institute has some of the fastest-growing programs, and a new, compatible facility was needed for Herberger classes that require complex audio and visual capabilities.

Construction for the facility is taking place west of the new Mill Avenue Parking Structure. It will feature a "unitized curtainwall system that produces a faceted, gem-like articulation that changes throughout the day," according to the University's facilities management website. 

"Having something architecturally significant at ASU is important to us," Kohnen said. "We want people to recognize the uniqueness of ASU."

Kohnen said the building's exterior design will be in reference to the Herberger Institute and its emphasis on aesthetics. 

The project is also scheduled to be completed in August 2024.

West Valley campus

Last semester, ASU announced a significant expansion to the West Valley campus to triple on-campus enrollment from 5,000 students to 15,000. ASU is developing a new residence hall to supplement the existing at-capacity dorms and a new academic building to house various educational programs migrating to the campus. 

READ MORE: ASU to establish three new schools on the West campus

West Valley campus student housing

The new student housing building, Casa de Oro II, will have 507 bed spaces for undergraduate students once completed in August 2024. 

Casa de Oro and Las Casas, the existing student housing buildings on the West Valley campus, are at capacity.

"Along with modern rooms, there will be outdoor common areas and interior amenity spaces that support student activities and events as enrollment increases within a host of schools and programs on the West Campus," the University's facilities management website reads. 

The University announced in an Instagram post Tuesday that the $54 million residential hall will be "double-occupancy suite-style" rooms and the building will have community spaces for social and academic events.

West Valley campus new academic and office building

In December 2024, a new three-story academic and office building will be adjacent to the new residence hall on the west side of the campus. 

The $33.5 million project will "be able to meet the demand for on-campus academic space as enrollment increases are anticipated" in over a half-dozen ASU schools, including but not limited to Barrett, the Honors College, the College of Health Solutions, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the W.P. Carey School of Business.

The facility will be around 55,000 square feet and have classrooms, computer and drawing labs, faculty offices and student gallery spaces.

READ MORE: ASU renames West Campus to ASU West Valley

Downtown Phoenix campus

Downtown Phoenix SDFC pool

In September 2021, the Arizona Board of Regents filed on behalf of ASU to sue the company that constructed the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the Downtown Phoenix campus. The rooftop pool closed that semester after it was deemed unsafe to use due to "premature failure of the stainless steel components of the pool structure."  

The pool has since been under construction. It was initially scheduled to reopen in June 2023, but after delays, the pool will resume construction in November and reopen in February 2024, an ASU spokesperson said in an email.

ASU health headquarters 

Last week, ASU announced the new School of Medicine and Advanced Medical Engineering that will be housed in an unannounced location on the Downtown Phoenix campus. The building will also be home to the headquarters for ASU Health and the School of Public Health Technology. 

The city of Phoenix will be investing $12 million into the construction of the project, which is estimated to cost between $75 million to $130 million.

READ MORE: New ASU medical school to be built on Downtown Phoenix campus

Polytechnic campus


A $187 million ISTB12 building is being constructed at the Polytechnic campus to house the University's new School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks. 

"The state-of-the-art ISTB12 builds on Polytechnic’s long-standing reputation as a solutions-focused hub for engineering and technology education, research and collaboration," according to the University's facilities management website. 

Upon completion in August 2025, ISTB12 will be a three-story building with just over 173,000 square feet of office, teaching and research spaces designed to house manufacturing and robotics labs.

The building is being constructed on a "grid system," allowing heavy equipment used in manufacturing research laboratories to be more easily maneuvered.   

"It's designed to be modifiable for all researchers," Kohnen said.

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Walker Smith and Grace Copperthite.

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