Celebration marks opening of new Downtown Phoenix student center

March 5, 2013

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. Download Full Image

"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

Reporter , ASU Now


Origins Project gears up for weekend of science stories, activities

March 6, 2013

The Origins Project at Arizona State University is hosting a weekend celebration of creativity, science and the stories of science featuring the world’s foremost scientists and artists on March 29 and 30.

The series of exciting events making up the Origins Stories weekend include a live broadcast of NPR’s Science Friday; a panel discussion and test screening of a new feature movie documentary; and a panel discussion on the stories of science and the science of storytelling. Download Full Image

“I’m very excited that Origins can once again bring an exciting weekend of science and culture to Tempe,” said Lawrence Krauss, project director of Origins. “With a new film, exciting interactive panel discussions, and world-renown storytellers who will use a variety of media to convey their messages about science and reality, we hope to help the public learn more about and further enjoy the amazing universe we live in.

"It is through stories of origins, both scientific and cultural, that we can most effectively celebrate the tremendous impact that science and reason can have in improving our everyday lives.”

The Origins Stories weekend activities are:

National Public Radio’s Science Friday, 11 a.m., March 29, Eight, Arizona PBS studio A, ASU Downtown Campus (555 North Central Avenue, Suite 500, Phoenix). NPR's Science Friday will broadcast its show live from ASU. Hosted by Ira Flatow, Science Friday focuses on timely science topics and brings a balanced, well-educated discussion to bear on the topics at hand. This event is free and open to the public, but there is limited seating. RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5564738282#.

Science, Myth, Reality: The Unbelievers, 7 p.m., March 29, Gammage Auditorium ASU Tempe campus (1200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe). Panel discussion and test screening. Join evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, author Ian McEwan and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, as well as other possible surprise guests, as they discuss the importance of reason-based inquiry and the process of filmmaking.

The discussion will focus on a test screening of the new feature film documentary “The Unbelievers,” starring Dawkins and Krauss, with additional contributions from noted actors, filmmakers and writers. This is a ticketed event, with prices ranging from $16 to $26 and two night ticket packages from $26 to $42.

The Science of Storytelling and the Storytelling of Science, 7 p.m., March 30, Gammage Auditorium, ASU Tempe campus (1200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe). This event will feature a panel of esteemed scientists, public intellectuals and awarding-winning writers and performers talking about the stories that make science so fascinating and relevant.

Panelists include theoretical physicist Brian Greene; astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson; Science Friday’s Ira Flatow; Bill Nye, the Science Guy; popular science fiction author Neal Stephenson; executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day; and moderator Lawrence Krauss. Actor/musician Tim Minchin is tentatively scheduled to participate as well. This is a ticketed event with prices ranging from $16 to $26 and two-night ticket packages from $26 to $42.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evening events are available online through Tickemaster.com and at the ASU Gammage Box Office, 480-965-3434. Discounted student tickets are available with a student ID at the Gammage Box Office.

For more information on Origins Stories weekend, please go to www.origins.asu.edu, or call 480-965-0053.

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications