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ASU opens spectacular honors college campus

August 18, 2009

ASU set a new standard this week when it opened the nation’s first comprehensive four-year honors college campus within a major research university.

Barrett, the ASU Honors College, welcomed 1,700 students to a brand new seven-building campus, located on nine acres at the northwest corner of Apache Boulevard and Rural Road in Tempe. Parents and students gazed in wonder as they got the first look at a spectacular campus that students had helped design. 

American Campus Communities developed the Barrett campus in partnership with ASU, bearing most of the $130 million cost. ASU’s contribution was $3.8 million, and ARAMARK invested the capital necessary for the impressive dining facility that features organic foods and a wide variety of meal choices.

Almost 800 upper-division students eagerly signed on to live in the new halls, leaving behind their off-campus apartments. The remainder are freshmen from around the United States, including 281 national scholars. About 70 percent of Barrett students are from Arizona.

The new campus has 12 classrooms, a dining center, faculty and administrative offices, computer lounge, fitness center and social lounges. The complex is designed to facilitate interaction between students, faculty and staff, so that learning will continue to take place outside the classroom.

Features include:

• Five types of living choices, from singles with private baths to four-bedroom suites.

• A 20,000 square-foot dining hall with 12-14 serving stations, including pizza oven and salad bar. Five dining areas include a two-story “great hall” with hardwood floors and clerestory windows.

• A center courtyard of green grass, mature trees and amphitheatre complete with a large outdoor fireplace and social spaces. Five smaller courtyards are located throughout.

• A sand volleyball court, a fitness center and a computer lounge/library that overlooks a social lounge.

• Three floors for 250 students in a Sustainability House community, with low-consumption plumbing fixtures, energy monitoring for individual rooms, recycled gray water, a green roof and organic garden.

• Classrooms and offices for advisers and faculty, so freshmen can take some of their core classes on-site and get to know their professors more easily. Upper-division seminars will be offered also. 

• Common laundry facilities with Web-based monitoring, to let students know when their washer or dryer shuts off.

• Sky lounges with views of South Mountain and Downtown Phoenix.