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State-of-the-art facilities highlight new upgrades to ASU campuses

December 21, 2022

MIX Center in downtown Mesa and Mullett Arena in Tempe show growing ASU landscapes

Arizona State University completed more than 120 projects totaling more than $40 million during the summer and fall 2022 semesters.

Facilities Development and Management and its collaborators upgraded all ASU campuses and concluded work on two cutting-edge facilities. A new educational centerpiece in downtown Mesa, a mid-size arena for athletics and several Tempe campus additions highlight the new development.

“These projects showcase our investment in students, faculty, staff and Valley communities to provide welcoming environments for all to use,” said Alex Kohnen, Facilities Development and Management vice president. “The new facilities will support the ASU community for many years to come and contribute to the growth and success of their surrounding areas.”

Learn more about the recently completed construction projects:

Media and Immersive eXperience Center

Outside of ASU MIX Center building featuring a large screen

The outside of the MIX Center features a bright 100-foot screen. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

A joint project between ASU and the city of Mesa, the MIX Center enhances innovation infrastructure with greater access to higher-education programs for local residents and increased activity in downtown Mesa. 

The nearly 118,000-square-foot building provides large program areas, including:

  • 280-seat screening theater.
  • 80-seat screening room.
  • Four sound stages.
  • Enhanced immersion studio.

The building also contains high-tech sound-recording studios, control rooms, display areas, editing rooms, classrooms and office-support spaces. A 100-foot-wide high-resolution display on the building’s exterior faces the plaza with an event lawn for film screenings, sporting events and other community outings.

Located next to the MIX Center, the Studios at Mesa City Center are open to the public and provide support spaces for residents with entrepreneurial or business ideas.

The MIX Center houses academic units from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, including The Sidney Poitier New American Film School. It also includes top-ranked digital media technology, worldbuilding, experience design and gaming programs from The Design School and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, as well as from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Global Futures.

Mullett Arena

ASU hockey jerseys hang on glass wall at arena

Mullett Arena will be the home of ASU hockey and wrestling, the women’s gymnastics team and the temporary home of the Arizona Coyotes. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Officially named in August and opened to the public in October, Mullett Arena is the new home for ASU hockey, wrestling and various community and entertainment events. The arena can accommodate concerts, lectures and large-scale meetings throughout the year.

Located in the center of the Novus Innovation Corridor, the 5,000-seat, state-of-the-art arena includes:

  • 8,000 square feet for ASU’s locker room, weight room, players’ lounge and coaches’ offices.
  • 20 luxury suites.
  • Two ice sheets.
  • Club lounge.
  • Premium club seats.

“This arena will be an attractor as we bring together the university and our knowledge assets with the private sector,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer.

The attached Mountain America Community Iceplex is accessible to students and serves the community with a practice and competition location for regional youth and adult hockey clubs.

Mullett Arena will host Arizona Coyotes home games for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 NHL seasons while the team develops its proposed new arena and entertainment district.

The construction of a two-story, approximately 15,000-square-foot annex adjacent to the arena accommodates NHL-quality home and away teams with:

  • Dressing rooms.
  • Fitness rooms.
  • Nutrition stations.
  • Training areas.

Demolition work

Recent demolitions on the west side of the Tempe campus pave the way for new academic and parking space development.

The demolition of Wilson Hall, constructed as a residence hall in 1956 along Orange Mall, will allow for a new five-story facility housing classroom, collaboration, instructional and office spaces to support academic programs’ growth and student success. The new building is the first section of a new academic district in the heart of campus, adding 19 state-of-the-art classrooms.

The Tempe Center and Tempe Center Annex buildings, acquired by the university in 1983, were demolished this summer. New developments in the area will include a parking structure, a future academic building with retail on Mill Avenue and a residence hall. The Mill Avenue Parking Structure, scheduled to be completed next summer, will add 1,205 parking spaces on six levels for the new Omni Tempe Hotel at ASU and the surrounding area.

Additional capital projects

The Engineering Center G Wing’s south exterior stairs were renovated, including an updated concrete infrastructure. Workers also installed new handrails and guardrails to meet current safety codes while matching the original handrail’s look.

On the Downtown Phoenix campus, workers installed 98 efficient water-source heat pumps in Health South.

In addition to many capital projects, Facilities Management completed numerous infrastructure projects — electrical, paint and maintenance — across all ASU campuses.

These projects are only part of existing ASU capital projects currently in planning, design or construction phases, including:

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow Facilities Development and Management on Twitter at ASUfacilities.

Top photo: The MIX Center in downtown Mesa contains high-tech sound-recording studios, control rooms, display areas, editing rooms, classrooms and office-support spaces. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management


ASU students create podcasts to harness creativity, collaboration in class

December 22, 2022

Karla Murphy and Chelsie Schlesinger, co-instructors at Arizona State University's New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, have spent the past few semesters steeped in student podcast episodes. 

After completing the Digital Fluency Creative course hosted by Enterprise Technology’s Learning Experience in 2021, the two are using Adobe Creative Cloud to break through traditional teaching modalities. One such example leverages podcasting in their Advanced English Composition course to spark creativity and collaboration among students.  A student smiles, looking at another student in front of them. The podcast assignment allows students to rethink the boundaries of their creativity and find new ways to engage with research, bringing opportunities in the form of critical thinking and collaboration. Photo courtesy Mike Sanchez/ASU Download Full Image

“I think the podcast makes them break outside of the mold,” Schlesinger said. “It makes them think about their topics in different ways.”

Now available as an XKit (ASU Experience Kit), the podcast assignment allows students to rethink the boundaries of their creativity and find new ways to engage with research. And experimenting with new mediums in the course has shown to bring opportunities in the form of critical thinking and collaboration.

“It was really interesting seeing to what extent we could push the boundaries of the assignment and how much we can get out of doing that,” said McKenzie Renfrew, a freshman majoring in forensic science at the New College. “It was just interesting to explore all the different avenues our conversations in the podcast led us and to dive deeper into our topics.”

Arranged in groups of three or four, students weaved diverse topics into a single podcast episode and created a poster to represent their audio. Topic areas ranged from the importance of coral reefs to the impacts of parenting on children to inadequate access to health care for deaf patients. 

The podcast assignment acts as a springboard for students, enabling students to bounce ideas off each other before drafting future written assignments. 

“The idea that people write a research-based paper and it exists unto itself is erroneous,” Murphysaid. “It's part of a larger conversation; you're responding to somebody else's work and that conversation happens instantly in that podcast recording.”

During office hours, Schlesinger said students often find themselves struck with writer's block despite being able to talk freely about their topic. Unanchored from the pressure of writing, the process of crafting, producing and editing the podcast helps get the ball rolling. 

“The podcast, the actual act of conversing, gets (them) into a space where they're able to articulate their ideas,” she said. 

“Taking very large concepts and tearing them down for a podcast to produce effective research was very good practice,” Renfrew said. “And I feel like this series of assignments throughout the class have helped me to conceptualize the process of research in my head.”

Moreover, the project does more than prompt deeper investigation — it allows students to identify unique skill sets, such as project management, problem solving and adaptability, while building their portfolios.

“They have these actual artifacts (the podcasts) to demonstrate the skills they say that they have,” Murphy said. “And not everybody has the same strengths, but they can begin to see where their skills are.”

As the fall semester comes to a close, students like Renfrew will carry with them an enriched set of multimedia skills such as audio editing and graphic design to use in professional settings or future classes as they work toward graduation. 

“This class really solidified the skills that I need to be successful in research,” Renfrew said. “So this assignment was really just the first step in ensuring those capabilities in myself.”

ASU offers students free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools. Adobe is part of the ASU Digital Backpack, which offers 21st-century tools for learners of all backgrounds to create and collaborate. 

Written by Kevin Pirehpour.

Editorial specialist, University Technology Office