Students encouraged to find Arizona theme for new campus apartments

January 08, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

GCU's new campus apartment complex is slated to include nearly 1,000 private beds, most of which are set in four-bed, two-bath setups.

GCU’s new campus apartment complex is slated to include nearly 1,000 private beds, most of which are set in four-bed, two-bath setups.

By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau

Javelina. Palo Verde. Havasupai. How about Pepper Sauce?

The list of possible names for Grand Canyon University’s new student apartment complex on the east end of campus includes 25 Arizona-themed titles that range from Native American tribes to native desert animals and plants. The Pepper Sauce suggestion is derived from the Peppersauce Cave, a southern Arizona attraction where visitors spelunk among multicolored stalactites.

This month, GCU students helped name the apartments by casting their votes. The top name or names will be announced at GCU Arena during the Jan. 25 men’s basketball game against Seattle.

The new complex is slated to open for the 2014-15 academic year. Housing Operations Manager Janay Poole said the apartments will include nearly 1,000 beds set in private rooms, many of which are part of four-bed, two-bath setups. The majority of apartments will have kitchens.

The list of possible names for the apartments came through suggestions by a mix of staff and students, including those on a GCU Future’s Committee. The idea, Poole said, is to empower students to help develop the campus community.

“We always want our students to be part of the experience and have ownership of what’s happening on campus,” Poole said.

The new apartments are located just east of Camelback Hall and the aging North Rim Apartments on what used to be the east parking lot.

Poole said the idea was to develop a residence hall where students who desire “privacy and independence” could have their own space but still live as “part of the campus community.”

Since joining GCU in March 2012, Poole said she already has helped organize four new residence halls. Prescott Hall opened in 2011. GCU completed Camelback and Sedona halls in 2012. Last year, the University opened Chaparral and Saguaro halls – establishing a new northeastern corner that serves as a sort of student village where several halls meet.

The new apartments will be critical for GCU to provide on-campus housing for nearly 5,300 of an estimated 10,750 traditional ground campus students by the fall 2014 semester.

So, how did the Pepper Sauce suggestion come about?

Poole said she took part in a GCU employee retreat in August to Peppersauce Cave. She and other employees were a little startled at the tight crawl spaces, steep climbs and other hazards en route to the underground space that any claustrophobic person would find difficult to cope with.

“I didn’t want to say no because it’s an experience, but it was terrifying,” she joked. “We would all die laughing if that’s what it ended up being (named).”

Reach Michael Ferraresi at 639.7030 or [email protected].

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