In view: The new 27th Avenue offices are here
Story by Karen Fernau
Photos by Darryl Webb
GCU News Bureau
Robert Allen is looking forward to packing up his desk in Peoria and moving to the newest and biggest office building on the Grand Canyon University campus.
“I want to know the GCU culture, to be close to theater, restaurants and sporting events,” said Allen, a GCU qualifying specialist supervisor.
Allen joins thousands of other employees from the GCU offices in Peoria and Tempe who are poised to move into the state-of-the-art office building at 27th Avenue and Camelback Road.
Employees from the adjacent office building also are scheduled to move in January to the fourth floor, bringing the total number of GCU staffers working in the new offices to 2,500.
The last wave of employees work in accounting, curriculum development, financial aid, procurement, risk management and other administrative departments.
The 27th Avenue complex also includes a recently completed 2,400-space parking garage and Grand Canyon University Hotel. A park with shade trees, benches and a quarter-mile track around a small playing field is being built between the new offices and the garage.
In addition to the park, employees are welcome at the adjacent office building’s fitness center and the hotel’s Canyon 49 Grill. A security fence surrounds the complex.
“When done, this will be the nicest office area in the city. It has places for employees to sit and relax, play Frisbee, walk the track or go out to eat,” said Richard Oesterle, GCU’s director of campus development.
In addition, he expects 27th Avenue to spark redevelopment in the nearby Camelback Road corridor.
Employees from the Tempe office are scheduled to be moved in by Monday, and those from Peoria are to be transferred on Dec. 17. When both moves are complete, GCU no longer will occupy satellite offices. All 3,650 University employees will work on campus.
The four-story, 325,000-square-foot office is the new home of GCU’s extensive student support services, which range from admission to graduation.
The purple and slate gray structure with an open feel was designed by suoLL Architects of Scottsdale, the firm that also designed the new GCU Stadium. It was built by Pono Construction of Phoenix.
GCU Executive Vice President Bart Burkert said moving the two offices into the same building will “integrate all our services.”
“It will be nice for all of us to be together in a central location on campus,” he said.
“Our employees have always come to campus for different events, but this will make it so much easier to go to a play or soccer game,” Burkert said.
The dual-tower building is equipped with break rooms, a mega-variable flow air-conditioner and energy-efficient LED lighting. All floors also are partially lit by the natural sunlight from the sprawling windows.
Those working on the east side of the building can enjoy views of Camelback Mountain, and downtown Phoenix can be seen from the building’s south side.
To help traffic move smoothly and safely, employees moving from the Tempe office will be scheduled to arrive in shifts on the half hour, from 6-9 a.m.
In addition, GCU has launched a traffic-management plan that stresses the importance of “no left turn” restrictions, designed to reduce the chances of serious auto accidents.
All four entrances to 27th Avenue are scheduled to be open Monday. Their operational hours are as follows:
● The main entryway at 27th Avenue and Medlock is to be open 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
● The Colter entrance is to be open from 5 a.m.-midnight Monday to Friday.
● The Camelback Avenue entrance, located east of Building 71, is to be open 5 a.m.-midnight Monday to Friday.
● The I-17 frontage gate, located at the southeast corner of Building 66, is to be open from 6-9 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.