Downtown student center recognized with historic preservation award

ASU Student Center @ the Post Office

A popular gathering spot for students on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus is now an award-winning facility.

The ASU Student Center @ the Post Office will receive the Governor's Heritage Preservation Honor Award next month at a special luncheon hosted by Arizona State Parks. The 24,000-square-foot facility, located at 522 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, opened its doors in 2013 and is an adaptive re-use of existing space in the Historic Post Office.

ASU will be honored by the State Historic Preservation Office Staff at a special award ceremony, which coincides with the 2014 Arizona Historic Preservation Conference on Friday, June 13. The noon luncheon takes place at the Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Taking almost two years to plan and construct, the two-story center features amenities such as a student lounge, convenience kiosk, 70-inch television, recreation room, game zone, mediated collaboration and presentation spaces, conference room, a large atrium and a “front porch” area opening to Civic Space Park.

The space also houses headquarters for the Programming and Activities Board, Undergraduate Student Government Downtown and Changemaker Center, a global nonprofit network of social entrepreneurs that supports entrepreneurship education in colleges and universities.

A student government-endorsed fee of $75 per semester funded the $4.7 million refurbishment. Student feedback was also solicited and incorporated throughout the design and construction process. The space is consistent with ASU's focus on being one of the healthiest universities in the nation by promoting a space where students can engage.

The center also fulfills ASU's commitment to sustainability, and includes a number of energy saving features designed by Holly Street Studio Architects, a Phoenix-based firm. Features include natural day lighting, energy efficient lighting systems, low-flow water fixtures, new infrastructure for a future Solar Hot Water system and open vertical circulation to encourage the use of stairs versus elevators.

“Sustainable construction is a part of how we conduct everyday business here,” said Morgan R. Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer at ASU. “ASU has a sustainable design policy and guidelines that our business partners must adhere to on major building renovations, as well as on new construction. It is a great reflection on the entire project team for our efforts to be recognized by the preservation committee for our transformation of the student center into a beautiful space that meets the needs of the modern student.”

Students on the Downtown Phoenix campus pursue degrees offered by ASU's School of Letters & Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Health Solutions, College of Public Programs and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Barrett, the Honors College also maintains an active presence on the campus, with students in all majors eligible to participate in the Barrett programming.

For more information about the ASU Student Center @ The Post Office, call the dean of student’s office at 602-496-4357 or email at