Mesa Mayor John Giles announced in his State of the City address today that Arizona State University will open a new campus in downtown Mesa. Standing in for university President Michael Crow at the announcement was ASU's mascot.
“Sparky and I are here to announce very, very exciting news,” Giles said. “We are working together to bring Arizona State University to downtown Mesa.”
This will be ASU’s second campus in Mesa. The university has operated its polytechnic campus in east Mesa for 20 years. Now timetable for the new campus was released.
While Crow couldn’t attend the State of the City address, he sent a video message along with Sparky in which he referred to Mesa as “a leading center for innovation.” He also praised the city’s public education system and its efforts to attract business.
“After years of discussions with Mayor Giles, we’re really excited to now be able to take the leap and say that we’re committed to being a part of the redevelopment strategy for downtown Mesa,” Crow said in the video message. “We’re committed to ASU having a physical presence, an organizational presence, and a creativity presence in downtown Mesa.”
Crow added that the university and the city of Mesa still have to finish working out the details but that they are ready to move forward. “We’re all in,” he said
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Giles said he expects the Mesa City Council to adopt a memorandum of understanding later this month to explore “what we can do to work together to make sure that this is a successful partnership.”
Mesa already has several colleges in its downtown area, including Benedictine University and Wilkes University.
The plans for the new ASU campus in downtown Mesa come several months after the city completed a light-rail extension in downtown, which will enable Mesa students to travel to and from ASU campuses in Tempe and in downtown Phoenix. Giles said he expects the new ASU campus will help revitalize the area.
“The connection and the fit between Arizona State University and downtown Mesa is a great fit,” he said. “It’s very obvious. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate. These are two things that are made for each other.”