The groundbreaking ceremony for the College Avenue Commons (CAVC), then called “Block 12,” took place on January 24, 2013. ASU President Michael M. Crow, Jeff and Mary Ehret, Edd Gibson and many other project stakeholders played a part in the ceremony.
The ceremony highlighted the community connection between downtown Tempe and ASU, the building’s sustainable construction features, and the collaborative efforts which brought the project to fruition.
ASU President Michael M. Crow emphasized that the CAVC was a “derivative of partnerships.” He explained that the CAVC is a function of minimal state budget investment, and majority partnership investment from the private sector, philanthropy, tuition revenues and revenue generated through the commercial activities of the future CAVC.
“Very clearly we’re looking to connect with downtown Tempe and Mill Ave,” said Morgan Olsen, ASU Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. “We want everyone to feel welcome and enticed to enter this facility, and we hope it will also tie into the existing campus fabric. We have a fairly busy street on University….we’re hoping we can create a little more gravity for this area, and get folks who spend a lot of their time on the south side of University to come and spend some time on the north side.”
Highlights of the facility were emphasized, including enticing ground-level retail and dining facilities, a 200-seat auditorium for “Experience ASU” tours, many shaded “social” areas, a roof deck, state-of-the-art classrooms, and a new home for the Del E. Webb School of Construction.
ASU has the second largest number of LEED-certified buildings in the U.S., and the Block 12 Project was to be another feather in ASU’s LEED cap. Set to meet LEED Gold standards for environmental sustainability, emphasis was made at the groundbreaking on the building’s high standards, including
- increased use of daylight in the classrooms
- solar hot water heating, to also be used for building heat
- reduced water use
- a ventilated façade to reduce exterior surface temperature
- LED lighting
- diversion of construction waste
- use of recycled and low-emitting building materials.
- integrated photovoltaic/solar-thermal technologies
- natural ventilation of atrium spaces
- water harvesting for storage and reuse