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ASU's Polytechnic campus kicks off its seventh year with increased enrollment, physical change


September 26, 2002

ASU's Polytechnic campus began its seventh year of existence amid excitement of continued enrollment growth and physical changes to the campus.

Fall enrollment stands at 3,126, the fourth year that the campus has had a 30 percent increase. "This marks the first time that we've had this kind of increase without moving new programs from the Main Campus," Provost Charles Backus told the audience at the Fall Faculty and Staff Breakfast. The enrollment numbers mark a 700-student increase over Fall 2001.

On the physical front, many changes are happening at ASU's Polytechnic campus. One hundred percent of the campus' classrooms are mediated, Backus announced, allowing the campus to better integrate technology into its academic offerings.

The campus also has its first pedestrian mall. Built over the summer, the walkway connects two of the campus' busiest buildings, the Academic Center and the Technology Center. The lushly landscaped area features a Sonoran desert theme and is the first of what will become a series of pedestrian malls connecting the campus' busiest areas.

Work also has begun on a monument wall at the traffic circle at the front of campus. The six-foot-high wall will provide a picturesque welcome to passersby and feature the Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus name and logo. Both the wall and campus malls are being funded with monies from Proposition 301, the voter-approved sales tax increase to support education in the state.

Proposition 301 monies are also funding numerous building renovation projects. Most noticeable is the former base headquarters building, which is undergoing a dramatic renovation to become home to campus administrative offices. Those offices, currently located in the Academic Center, need to relocate so library and instructional space can expand.

The Simulator Building also has new classrooms and offices, which were created by enclosing former two-story simulator bays on the west side of the building.

Also on the drawing board are new homes for the College of Technology dean's office in the former Run-in-Chef building; faculty and administrative offices for School of Applied Arts & Sciences and the Morrison School of Agribusiness in Wanner and Sutton Halls; offices and labs for Exercise and Wellness in the former NCO building; the Agribusiness Center (classrooms and labs) in the former BX; a flightline facility for the flight program; and a new student union.

All of the construction projects, which are not funded through regular campus operational funds, will be underway in six to nine months.

ASU, like all state agencies, continues to deal with challenging budget scenarios, Backus told faculty and staff. To keep from affecting the campus' academic mission, the provost said the campus was taking steps to save money now for future budget revertments through such steps as hiring freezes, an energy and water conservation program, and cuts to landscaping and custodial services.