Dining hall, first new dorm opens at ASU’s Polytechnic - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Dining hall, first new dorm opens at ASU’s Polytechnic

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:00 am

ASU Polytechnic officially opened Citrus Dining Pavilion and Century Residential Hall on Sept. 18, the first new dorm on the east Mesa campus.

“There has already been an incredible, noticeable difference in the engagement of our freshmen,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and the dean of the College of Engineering and Innovation. “This is the next step in the growth of the Polytechnic campus.”

Students moved into the dormitory facility and the dining hall opened for business when the semester started in August.

“This project shows the advancement of the Polytechnic campus,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “When we say we are one university in many places, that means we are full service where we are.”

The campus is currently about 50 percent complete, Crow said.

The project is the site’s first new residential facility since it reopened in the mid-1990s after the closure of Williams Air Force Base, said Aaron Krasnow, dean of students at ASU’s Polytechnic campus.

“ASU in general has been building facilities that ... offer a blend of academic and social communities,” Krasnaw said.

The residence hall was designed to create new and exploratory platforms for the faculty to engage students, he said. Many of the areas in the new buildings are multipurpose; the cafeteria can be converted into a concert space and quiet study space can transform into a robotics lab.

Century Hall is a three-story, 84,000-square-foot building, which houses 306 freshmen from the College of Technology and Innovation, the W.P. Carey School of Business, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Barrett, the Honors College. Each residential wing will house different majors and create a unique learning environment.

“From the moment they’re here, they have connections to people who have similar career aspirations and classes in common,” Krasnow said.

The hall is the first phase of what will eventually be four dormitory buildings, Krasnow said.

“As enrollment grows, the campus will grow,” he said.

Former freshmen halls, the North Residential Halls, were converted into single sophomore housing, while the houses on campus remain available for upperclassmen, he said. Those buildings were all part of the former Air Force base that had been renovated for campus use.

“We know that students who stay on campus are more likely to stay in school and graduate from the university,” Krasnow said.

The dormitories include group study rooms, a small engineering studio, laundry facilities, a community kitchen and three activity lounges with a pool table, gaming and table tennis.

Inland American Communities, which has an office in Tempe, has funded construction of the $13.4 million residence hall.

“Through collected efforts, both of these facilities were delivered as budgeted and as scheduled,” said Ross Robb, managing director of Inland American Communities. “In the Public-Private Partnership industry, it’s known as the three Ps in the business we’re in, but I see a fourth P and the fourth P stands for ‘promise’.”

The Citrus Dining Pavilion, which will be a LEED silver certified building, is located just north of the Student Union and next to the new freshmen dorms. The single-floor structure consists of a 350-student dining area, a private dining area and exterior seating. It also contains a small grocery store and café.

Aramark will be the dining service provider, as it is on all ASU campuses.

The new dining pavilion is an all-you-care-to-eat facility, said Krasnow. Students can swipe their meal card once and eat what they want in a manner similar to Tempe’s Memorial Union Pitchforks.

The Citrus Dining Pavilion, which cost $10.1 million, and Century Residential Hall were built without using state money or tuition revenues.


• Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or sspring@evtrib.com

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