Papago name a keeper for new campus residences
By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau
A 940-bed, apartment-style residential complex under construction on the east side of the Grand Canyon University campus will be known by the name of Papago.
You may recognize that name on everything from a freeway to a golf course and a brewing company in metro Phoenix. It originates with the Papago Indian tribe, whose Native people were among the earliest inhabitants of Arizona. The red-rock buttes of Papago Park are among the most recognizable natural landmarks in Phoenix.
GCU officials considered student feedback on 25 Arizona-themed names and settled this week on Papago. The residences, located east of Camelback Hall on what used to be the east parking lot, are scheduled for an August opening at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.
The apartments include private bedrooms in four- and two-bedroom units. Many of the units have shared kitchens. The complex also will include a courtyard and retail locations to give students an east campus dining option.
The retail component is still under consideration, although the idea is to provide students with access to vendors similar to those at Thunder Alley in an arrangement where they can apply meal swipes.
By next fall, GCU expects the need for on-campus housing for nearly 5,300 of an estimated 10,750 traditional campus students.
GCU Residence Life staff said the new residences will provide students with privacy and independence from traditional residence hall living. They can have their own space while still living as part of the campus community. This will be the University’s second apartment-style complex. The first such project, the North Rim Apartments, opened in 1986 and is GCU’s oldest existing housing. Since the fall of 2010, six residence halls have opened.