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ASU may build a new downtown Mesa campus

Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 08:04:50-05

Mesa is making a new attempt at bringing a second Arizona State University campus to the city.

After voters failed to approve a 2016 city sales tax that would have paid to build a university downtown, city leaders say they've found an option that would not include raising taxes. Mesa already has an ASU Polytechnic campus near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The city council is expected to vote on an intergovernmental agreement with ASU on February 26. The proposal includes the city paying construction of a five-story building at Centennial Way and Pepper Place. ASU would pay a long-term lease and equip the building.  

According to a city presentation earlier this month, film, media, and gaming classes would be taught at the site. ASU would have to agree to a minimum of 750 students at the downtown Mesa campus.

Mesa's mayor says the university would be the centerpiece of an innovation district for Mesa. In recent years, Mesa has invested in light rail and the arts community. The city also brought other colleges, including Benedictine University, into the downtown area. Several new apartment complexes are under construction downtown.  

"ASU has always been committed to exploring new ideas with partners like the city of Mesa," an ASU spokesperson told ABC15. "We look forward to continuing to discuss ways that working together might further enhance opportunities for research, education and economic development."