New housing, Jimmy John's, pickleball highlight campus changes

Alden Sia of Welcome Programs plays pickleball on the tennis courts near the Canyon Activity Center, but soon she'll be able to play on dedicated space.

Photos by Ralph Freso

Grand Canyon University is consistently ranked high by niche.com for its beautiful campus and comfortable residential living.

GCU only will add to its amenities and new living areas this summer in preparation for the fall semester.

Here’s what Vice President of Facilities Planning and Operations James Kossler said is in the works.

Construction continues on the new Copper student apartments on the east side of campus.

New student apartments

In what has become an annual rite, new apartment buildings quickly arise in the summer months. The new thing about the two apartments under construction on the east side of campus? Both are seven stories instead of six, like most others on campus, and each will house nine additional study rooms. Each has 725 beds with similar layouts to apartments constructed in recent years, though neither will have food outlets on the bottom floor.

Santa Cruz Apartments is just south of The Rivers complex and its pool off 29th Avenue, another Arizona river-themed name to add to a growing area of campus. Copper Apartments is just to the south across Colter and will have the same layout, though named after one of Arizona’s “five Cs” of the state’s early economy.

That brings the total living areas on campus to 32 with approximately 19,000 beds.

Pickleball courts

It’s called America’s fastest-growing sport. And now it’s improving its visibility at GCU. Pickleball is a racquet sport essentially using what looks like larger versions of a ping-pong paddle and whiffle ball.

GCU is improving equipment to convert space inside the Canyon Activity Center to pickleball courts.

The Havoc House is open with limited hours and no reservations required for the summer, but a patio and longer hours are being added for the fall.

Dining

Havoc House in GCU Arena launched its 150-seat dining room with a soft opening on June 20 (in preparation for the official fall opening), while summer work continues on a patio space to the west linked to additional dining seating in the Jerry Colangelo Museum space, which will double capacity.

Jimmy John’s: The popular sandwich chain is a hit with the masses and is expected to be with students when it opens on the first floor of Agua Fria Apartments in The Rivers complex.

That will bring the number of eateries, coffee shops and convenience store locations on campus to 33.

The new home for GCU’s Theological Seminary will be on the first floor of Building 71 at 27th Avenue and Camelback Road.

27th Avenue

The 27th Avenue campus is going through some renovation this summer.

On the first floor of Building 71, a 17,000-square-foot space will serve as the home of the College of Theology’s graduate school, Grand Canyon Theological Seminary.

On the second floor, space is being created for the College of Nursing’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Advanced Nurse Practitioner programs.

New meeting areas will be available on the first three floors.

A section of Building 66 is also under renovation for another new program to be announced soon.

Rolls of the old artificial turf are lined up along Colter Field before crews removed it as new turf will be installed.

Colter Field

The large field south of the Canyon Activity Center will be even more appealing to Club Sports, Intramurals and other recreationists when the artificial turf is replaced over the summer.

Other touchups this summer include: Freshening lecture spaces — Howerton Hall in the Theology Building and the one in the College of Arts and Media Building; new lighting and paint in Sunset; exterior painting of the Grove buildings.

Campus street improvements are also in the works and will be announced when finalized.

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.

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