Celebration marks opening of new Downtown Phoenix student center
Students at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus have cause for major celebration with the addition of a new 24,000-square-foot student center filled with many amenities, meeting rooms and open space.
An opening celebration and ribbon-cutting for The Student Center @ the Post Office, 522 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, took place March 5. ASU President Michael M. Crow, civic officials, community members and several ASU students were on hand to commemorate the occasion.
"The Student Center @ the Post Office has increased the opportunity for students to gather and create new memories to enhance and shape their college experience,” said Georgeana Montoya, dean of students on the Downtown Phoenix campus. “So far the center has welcomed speakers and hosted several programs and we continue to see the possibilities of how impactful having the space is for students."
The two-story facility is an adaptive re-use of an existing space in the Historic Post Office and took almost two years to plan and construct. The center features amenities such as a student lounge, convenience kiosk, 70-inch television, recreation room, game zone, mediated collaboration and presentation spaces, conference room, a large atrium and a “front porch” area opening to Civic Space Park.
The space also houses headquarters for the Programming and Activities Board, Undergraduate Student Government Downtown and Changemaker Central, a global nonprofit network of social entrepreneurs that supports entrepreneurship education in colleges and universities.
Hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m., Sundays.
The $4.7 million refurbishment was funded through a student government endorsed fee of $75 per semester and their feedback was solicited and incorporated throughout the design and construction process. The space is consistent with ASU’s focus on being one of the healthiest universities in the nation by promoting a space where students can engage.
The center also fulfills ASU’s commitment to sustainability and includes a number of energy saving features designed by Holly Street Studio Architects, a Phoenix-based firm. Features include natural day lighting, energy efficient lighting systems, low-flow water fixtures, new infrastructure for future Solar Hot Water system, and open vertical circulation to encourage use of stairs vs. elevators.
“It’s important to remember that the greatest impact to sustainability is where to house a project and ASU should be commended for its foresight. In the case of adaptive re-use, the design team’s task is to find ways to hit aesthetic and programmatic goals by seeing potential and transforming the space from one use to another. It happens all the time in older places but it’s exciting to see it happening in our own backyard," said Diane Jacobs, a principal architect with Holly Street Studio.
Students on the Downtown Phoenix campus pursue degrees offered by ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Health Solutions, College of Public Programs, and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Barrett, the Honors College also maintains an active presence on the campus, with students in all majors eligible to participate in Barrett programming.
For more information about the new ASU Student Center @ the Post Office, call the dean of students office at 602-496-4357 or deanofstudentsDPC@asu.edu