Plans have now been made official for the construction of a 100,000 square foot building in downtown Mesa that will house a portion of Arizona State University’s film program.
The structure will be a part of a new $65 million satellite campus going up on property owned by the City of Mesa at Pepper Place and Centennial Way.
The result of ongoing talks between Mesa and ASU officials, the new campus is also being seen as an economic generator for downtown Mesa and a strategic move on the school’s part to open a campus in what is now, with a population of over 470,000 residents, the third largest city in the state.
ASU, based in Tempe, currently has three other satellite campuses in Lake Havasu City, Phoenix, and the West Valley.
According to an intergovernmental agreement approved earlier this year by the Mesa City Council, ASU, in a 90-year contract, will pay around $100,000 annually in rent for a building that Mesa will build.
An earlier effort in 2016 to create an ASU campus in Mesa failed after voters rejected a proposed sales tax, revenues of which would have been used to fund the building of the campus.
This time around, Mesa officials emphasize that the campus will be built with money from the city’s Enterprise Fund, which is primarily comprised of revenue collected from consumer utility bills.
The next phase of the project will see both Mesa and ASU officials working together on the design of the new building, with plans for construction to begin later this year.
It is expected that the new campus, which is intended to serve around 750 students, will be completed in time for the fall 2021 semester.
By Garry Boulard
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