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ASU completes $35 million in summer 2019 upgrades

September 11, 2019

From big projects to small upgrades, Facilities Development and Management had a busy summer

While most students escape the summer heat to enjoy a much-deserved break, Arizona State University makes a host of needed enhancements to its campuses between May and August. By aligning the many departments that work to improve and repair campus facilities, classrooms, residence halls and laboratories, ASU successfully wrapped up nearly 150 projects totaling more than $35 million in investment to ready all campuses for the start of their 2019 fall semester.

“We know summer is a major opportunity to work on projects that will improve the experience and meet the expectations of our students and faculty,” said Bruce Nevel, associate vice president of Facilities Development and Management. “We have approximately three months to make the necessary strides to elevate our campuses before the bustling return of a new semester, which greets us each fall. FDM is the center of architects, engineers, groundskeepers, maintenance technicians and contractors all working in unison to complete projects within this small window.” 

The Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West campuses all were beneficiaries of this summer ritual of improving university buildings and common areas. Below are some project examples completed over the summer: 

Hayden Library         

The Hayden Library Reinvention continued its progress with the opening of the renovated concourse level. Students will have access to seven state-of-the-art new classrooms, study rooms, workspaces and a hospitality area to grab a quick snack and relax. LED lighting is installed throughout the floor for energy efficiency. The concourse level is technically underground, but the north side of this floor is open to a sun-filled exterior plaza. Visit the Hayden Library webpages to view the concourse amenities and upgrades. Hayden Library is on track to fully reopen during January 2020 with above-ground entrances and enhanced student spaces in the building’s tower portion. 

Sun Devil Stadium 

This summer marked the completion of the $300 million reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium. Fans now can enjoy two new club spaces located on the third and fourth floors along the east sideline. These new additions add a combined 12,000 square feet of air-conditioned club area that is geared toward multifunctional use. The new stadium features better accessibility, food venues, restrooms and smart technology. From here, the ASU 365 Community Union will continue expanding the use of the stadium beyond a sports venue. 

University Club                     

Following a summer closure for renovations, ASU faculty, staff and their guests will once again enjoy the collegial environment of this iconic, early 20th century building. The project replaced 80 original construction single-pane, double-hung windows with new, energy-efficient insulated ones and upgraded six exterior doors, while successfully retaining the character and integrity of the building exterior. Miscellaneous building improvements, such as repainting the exterior trim, were incorporated into the project to complement the new windows and doors.  

The Garden Commons         

The Polytechnic Community Garden has resprouted as the Garden Commons. From its humble beginnings as a passion project by ASU Sustainability Practices Program Manager Susan Norton, it has grown into a dedicated center for education about, awareness of and active participation in holistic food systems production. The new garden features: 

  • Citrus and pecan trees.
  • Dedicated compost area.
  • Individual raised planting beds.
  • Outdoor produce wash stations.
  • Renovated indoor space for classes and other activities. 

Plans are in place to expand the Garden Commons’ role as a central gathering area and event space on the Polytechnic campus. 

Additional capital projects:

  • ASU football’s annual trek to Camp Tontozona received an enhancement with facility upgrades that include a new field turf. The NCAA-grade artificial surface provides faster drainage in the case of a rainstorm and alleviates the need for the team to scramble to nearby Payson to hold practice. The north end of the area includes a retaining wall and riprap to the west protects the field from water runoff. Additional upgrades included power to sidelines for electrical equipment and field striping for football and soccer. A new well system will provide the camp with access to fresh water as well.
  • New ASU Charter monuments — constructed of durable natural granite and fabricated recyclable aluminum — were installed at the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic and West campuses this summer. The signs will create focal points for photo opportunities for students and visitors alike, while communicating the critical importance of ASU’s charter to its many stakeholders.
  • The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Facility expansion, a recent Engineering News-Record Southwest magazine Project of the Year winner, is designed to provide reliable power to the research community on the Tempe campus for years to come. A new turbine offers uninterrupted power to critical research facilities, while the expansion is more energy-efficient and cleaner as it uses natural gas and steam. ASU is committed to eliminating greenhouse gases from building energy sources by 2025.
  • The pool deck at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on the Tempe campus was removed and replaced with fiberglass reinforcement rather than steel, which will not rust over time. Additional infrastructure was provided for showers at the diving platforms and future electronic-timing touchpads at the competition pool. A new records board also was installed.
  • In a joint ASU and city of Tempe project, a new median has been added to University Drive between College Avenue and Veterans Way. The new medians and landscaping, along with approximately 40 new date palm trees, are designed to increase both pedestrian and vehicle safety and roadway efficiency by limiting left-hand turns and U-turns through this busy section of road, while adding beauty to this important arterial that runs through the campus.
  • Southwest Gas replaced a central gas line on the Tempe campus along Palm Walk near Orange Mall. New landscaping and hardscaping topped off the work after the underground line was finished.  
  • The Polytechnic campus’ Technology Center chilled water plant underwent a complete renovation to replace existing 600-ton chillers with state-of-the-art centrifugal magnetic-drive chillers. The new chiller plant works in tandem with the exiting modular chiller plant to effectively double the campus cooling capacity and provide for future campus growth. 
  • The Arizona Center, which houses ASU classrooms and academic units in downtown Phoenix, had an exterior ASU logo sign mounted on the third-story pedestrian bridge. Wayfinding signage was installed on the first, second and third floors of the Arizona Center to guide ASU students and visitors. Additionally, the top of One Arizona Center Tower now includes a 7-foot-high ASU logo. 
  • The Student Services Building on the Tempe campus received improvements over the summer. The 6,500-square-foot remodel of the admissions office included new carpet, a new ceiling, fresh paint and modern furnishings. A new conference room and enclaves were installed with an updated audio-visual system. The 11,500-square-foot financial aid suite includes a new front desk area with a glass storefront, new conference room, enclaves, break room, private offices and open-office area to allow more natural light. New finishes and furniture were provided. New HVAC systems were included in both building projects.
Arizona Center

The Arizona Center.

These completed summer projects are only part of more than $1 billion in ASU capital projects now in some phase of planning, design or construction. These ongoing projects include ISTB 7Health Futures CenterNovus Innovation Corridor and a new building in downtown Phoenix for Thunderbird School of Global Management, among others. 

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow FDM onTwitter at @ASUfacilities.

Top photo: The deck at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center got an overhaul this summer. Photo by Facilities Development and Management

ASU, USAID ignite global supply chain education


September 11, 2019

A lone midwife manages a community-based planning center in Ghana. Her small staff is great at helping patients but lacks formal training in supply chain management. As a result, some weeks they have too much medicine and it expires. Other weeks, they don’t have enough and sick people must do without.

This kind of situation is common throughout the developing world. In search of innovative solutions, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created the Grand Challenge for Supply Chain, inviting nontraditional partners to submit proposals to solve global development challenges. A hand holds a smart phone. On its screen is a app designed to educate users about supply chain management. The caption reads: Banner image: A rendering of the ShipShape app in use. Image courtesy of Luminosity A rendering of the ShipShape app in use. Image courtesy of Luminosity Download Full Image

Thomas Kull, a research professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, envisioned a gamified app to teach supply chain basics in an engaging way with a relatively low time commitment, using existing mobile infrastructure. Kull’s idea was one of only two proposals awarded the USAID grant from a pool of 500 applications. The first version of the app, ShipShape, was piloted in Ghana this spring.

“There are so many instances of problems in the developing world that could have been prevented through education. However, getting that education out there is often a costly endeavor with logistical challenges,” said Kull. “Ghana has great mobile infrastructure, so if we piggyback on top of that, this becomes one of the many ways to overcome this issue, by making knowledge highly accessible.”

To realize his vision, Kull began working with ASU Luminosity, an interdisciplinary, student-run research lab. Luminosity harnesses student talent to solve complex problems while providing hands-on experience.

“Luminosity is marshalling the incredible talent of students across the university to solve really challenging problems,” said Stephen Feinson, the associate vice president of International Development at ASU. “We had a very specific need, we had a scope of work for a project that we needed to address and all of the talent that Luminosity can bring together. It was clear that the talent to execute this project was here.”

Left to right, Robb Olivieri, project manager at Luminosity; Cat Lewis, student lead on ShipShape; and ASU Professors Adegoke Oke and Thomas Kull at Ernest Chemist in Kumasi, Ghana, in March 2019. The group travelled to Ghana to gain local context and improve ShipShape. Photo courtesy of Luminosity

Students created a series of educational games to learn three main supply chain management skills: ordering, determining demand and managing stock.

First, ShipShape guides users through gamified lessons to determine when to order more units of medicine to keep enough on hand without having more than the facility can store. Next, the app teaches forecasting skills to anticipate future demand. Finally, the app covers stock management, which is assessing what policies need to be implemented for storage and stocking.

After building a foundation in these basic skills, ShipShape simulates the interconnected nature of supply chains, allowing the user to practice all three skills at once and learn how they relate to one another. Users progress through different levels that build on each other, providing a fun and engaging way to gain supply chain management skills.

“That’s one of the benefits of an app — we create it once and then anyone who wants to learn the basics of supply chain can do it. They don’t need a professor, they don’t need tuition. Whoever has that need can find it,” said Cat Lewis, a junior majoring in industrial design and the student lead on the ShipShape project.

To test ShipShape, the team identified a local partner through a mutual relationship between USAID, ASU and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), a university in Ghana.

Students from KNUST attend ASU as a part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. This program is an initiative to prepare students — primarily from sub-Saharan Africa — with skills they need to be positive changemakers in their communities.

The Mastercard Scholars at ASU helped the Luminosity team test the first version of the app on campus. Then the Luminosity team traveled to KNUST in Ghana to test the app locally.

“Human-centered design is so huge in industrial design curriculum and what we do here,” said Lewis. “That's a lot of what design brings to the table in any sort of project, we are given the tools to learn about and communicate with people who aren't like us because our language is visual, transcending language barriers. Designers are the advocates for the end user. We have to learn about them and be able to advocate for their needs.”

The Luminosity team holds a development meeting for ShipShape. Photo courtesy of Luminosity


Students in Luminosity work on projects that can provide positive solutions to complex challenges. It’s a mission each student takes to heart.

“The challenge that we increasingly see in international development at universities is how to get knowledge that is being created in universities into the world and tackling problems,” Feinson said.

ShipShape takes the knowledge created in the W. P. Carey School of Business, matches it with the interdisciplinary talent of students in Luminosity, leverages global partnerships with USAID and KNUST, and delivers valuable information in a digestible, fun and easy-to-learn way to a community that can benefit from it.

“In this first year of project implementation, it has been enlightening to approach problem-solving in a multidisciplinary way,” said Sharmila Raj, health development officer at USAID. “Through Luminosity, ASU has leveraged undergraduate students studying various disciplines to develop ShipShape and therefore bring comparative strengths to the ShipShape design process. With its student-led design, this project not only brings fresh thinking to our work, but also provides students with a window into international development work and the work of our agency, which many do not know about. It’s a win-win!”

Are you interested in recruiting student talent for your international development efforts? ASU’s Student Development Corps matches you with the right students for your project needs and provides faculty mentors to ensure quality results. Contact ASU International Development at internationaldevelopment@asu.edu or 480-965-1012 to learn more.

Banner image: A rendering of the ShipShape app in use. Image courtesy of Luminosity

Written by Madison Arnold