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ASU expanded and improved campuses in 2014

exterior of College Avenue Commons
January 13, 2015

Several construction and building renovation projects – both big and small – expanded and improved Arizona State University’s campuses last year.

ASU Facilities Development and Management strengthened the university’s commitment to a sustainable and forward-thinking approach to design challenges, and added close to 300,000 square feet of academic, office and retail space.

Recently completed projects include College Avenue Commons, a mixed-use building in the heart of Tempe, as well as the renovation of current areas at the Downtown Phoenix and Polytechnic campuses. Construction crews also finished work on dozens of classrooms, meeting areas and iconic campus locations.

Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and CFO, commented on the tremendous construction progress made during 2014.

“We are excited for each of these developments that support ASU’s mission," Olsen said. "The great work of the many people who were involved with these projects reflects their commitment to the university’s sustainability efforts and their dedication to improving the ASU community for all current and future Sun Devils.”

Walk-Only Zones

Pedestrian safety enhancements continued as well, as additional Tempe campus Walk-Only Zones were established during the fall semester in select portions of Tyler Mall and Palm Walk.

Walk-Only Zones initially were introduced in 2013 to provide increased pedestrian safety and to ease vehicle congestion on the Tempe campus’ malls.

Physical improvements include traffic-control bollard installations, a second card-access bicycle parking facility, an additional bike valet station and new bicycle storage racks. Additional Walk-Only Zones information, including vehicle and cart access route maps, zone times and locations, is available at

The top projects for 2014 were:

College Avenue Commons
Located on the College Avenue corridor that leads to Sun Devil Stadium, College Avenue Commons is a five-story, state-of-the-art building equipped with many sustainable design features, including chilled-beam cooling, daylighting, and recycled and low-emitting building materials. In addition to dozens of technologically advanced classrooms, meeting areas and offices, the building also boasts the Future Sun Devil Welcome Center, as well as the Sun Devil Marketplace.

College Avenue Streetscape and Art Annex renovation
With the addition of College Avenue Commons, the building’s namesake street has been re-imagined as an ASU Tempe campus gateway. Everyone who traverses College Avenue can now enjoy increased lighting, seating and event spaces, as well as a more pedestrian-friendly landscape that functions as a community hotspot before ASU football games and other special events.

The adaptive reuse of the Art Annex building directly across the street to the east completes College Avenue’s makeover. The 1950s-era schoolhouse that once served as a locker room for ASU football players now thrives as a dining destination with Postino Wine Cafe and Snooze, two restaurants new to the Tempe area.

Sun Devil Stadium redevelopment and ASU Athletics Facilities District planning
Last summer preparation began for Phase 1 of the Sun Devil Stadium Transformation. Stadium sections 220-228 were removed, prepping the facility for the kick-off of its multi-year overhaul. The stadium will soon feature expanded venues and amenities for Sun Devil Nation to enjoy on game day and other times throughout the year.

ASU announced its selection of Catellus Development Corporation in October to advance the ASU Athletics Facilities District project. The District is a mixed-use development project that spans 330 acres at the northeast end of ASU’s Tempe campus and south of Tempe Town Lake. Catellus boasts more than 30 years of experience in transforming former sites into thriving retail, residential and commercial properties. After a thorough selection process, Catellus and ASU are now in the project’s research and planning stages. Full development is expected to take more than 10 years.

Psychology Building renovations
Renovations began this past fall on the nearly 82,000-square-foot Psychology Building. Built in 1972, a much-needed facelift is underway and designed to meet the current needs of the Psychology Department’s academic and research teams. The thorough renovations are expected to be finished this August and include enhanced ADA accessibility, a more energy-efficient heating and cooling system, improved laboratories and refurbished restrooms and room interiors.

Arizona Center renovation
The Downtown Phoenix campus continues to expand. Sun Devils can now take advantage of an additional 15,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories and meeting areas located on the second and third floors of the Arizona Center. The School of Letters and Sciences will move from nearby University Center and join the existing retail, dining and office mix at this development, originally built in 1989.

Polytechnic Prep Academy Creativity Hall renovation
Creativity Hall, home to the ASU Preparatory Academy, underwent the second phase of a three-phase renovation project. The 65,000-square-foot building previously housed a Veteran’s Administration Medical Clinic. The facility’s new classrooms, constructed for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, helped grow the school’s enrollment by 235 students. The project is slated to be finished in the summer of 2015 and will welcome an expanded roster of seventh and eighth-grade students to a cutting-edge learning environment.

Additional campus projects include:

Old Main Fountain – Fountain upgrades during the summer include the refurbishment of the mechanical system for increased efficiency and sustainability, the addition of two pools and the extension of the fountain’s height. The fountain changes create an even more beautiful environment in one of the Tempe campus’ signature spaces, the Old Main Quad.

Gammage Parkway Solar canopies cover the south campus entryway and provide green energy. The structures also give pedestrians increased connections to nearby buildings.

U.S. Passport Acceptance Office – A newly constructed space was created for the passport office at University Center on the Tempe campus. ASU and surrounding community members enjoy more counter space and reserved parking spaces located directly in front of the building.

Harrington-Birchett House – Fresh paint, added fixtures and enhanced landscape breathed new life into this historic home located west of College Avenue Commons, creating an attractive outdoor location for a range of university events.

Multi-campus university classrooms – Annual summer enhancements to university classrooms took place in the classroom/lab/computer classroom (CLCC) building at the West campus, and in the following Tempe campus buildings: College of Design North; Computing Commons; Durham Language and Literature; Engineering Center G; John W. Schwada; Payne Hall; and Social Sciences.

Pedro Silva,
ASU Business and Finance