Santa Cruz, Copper, other new additions make campus shine

A student and family members unload a U-Haul truck as she moves into the new Copper Apartments during Move-In this morning.

Photos by Ralph Freso

A bright, shiny, new academic year is upon us, which means bright, shiny, new facilities, eateries and more on the Grand Canyon University campus.

While you were away for the summer, a few things popped up that you’re likely to notice:

  • Santa Cruz and Copper Apartments. They’re hard to miss. They’re seven stories tall, making them the tallest residence halls on campus, towering over students moving in on the bustling east side of campus. More stories means more room, and each is housing 725 beds and nine additional study rooms. You’ll find Santa Cruz just south of The Rivers complex (it is named after another Arizona river). Copper is a little farther south from Santa Cruz, across Colter Avenue, and draws its name from one of the five “Cs” of Arizona’s early economy (cattle, cotton, citrus and climate are the other four). The apartments are similar in design to the campus’ other four-bedroom suite residences. Their addition means GCU is now home to 32 residence halls touting approximately 19,000 beds. The campus’ builder, Pono Construction owner Butch Glispie, spoke of the apartments’ “new dramatic look on the outside," referring to how suoLL architect Caroline Lobo did the color blocking on the buildings.
  • Speaking of the east side of campus, let’s talk Jimmy John’s. Student excitement is high for the popular sandwich eatery, which joins Panera Bread and Nekter Juice on the bottom floors of The Rivers. Hours for Jimmy John’s, which opened Thursday, are noon to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday during Welcome Week.
  • Cañón 49: Staying in the food realm, a restaurant on the first floor of GCU Hotel at the 27th Avenue and Camelback Road business complex reopened Friday. Canyon 49 Restaurant has been reimagined as Cañón 49 and is serving Mexican food fare, highlighted by homemade chips and salsa and fish tacos. It will be open for dinner from 4-9 p.m. daily.
The new home for GCU’s Theological Seminary is on the first floor of Building 71 at the Camelback Road and 27th Avenue business complex.
  • That’s good news for students and faculty at the new Grand Canyon Theological Seminary space next to GCU Hotel in Building 71. The seminary opened in 2016, operating primarily through online classes and in-person residencies; this new physical space spans 17,000 square feet on the first floor of Building 71 and will include a 4,000 square-foot theological library. Not only is it the home of the College of Theology’s graduate school, but the hope is that it will be a hub for the pastoral community in the West Valley to gather for meetings, fellowship and theological discussions. Said College of Theology Dean Dr. Jason Hiles of the space: “It's just a unique opportunity, kind of special, for a place like Grand Canyon to put together a seminary right in the middle of its operational hub here in Phoenix, and I think students have responded really well so far.”
  • West Phoenix ABSN site: Just above the seminary, the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions will welcome its sixth Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing location. It joins other ABSN sites in Sun City, Tucson and Chandler, Arizona; Sandy, Utah; and Henderson, Nevada.
  • Pickleball: Turning to sports, space inside the Canyon Activity Center has been converted into pickleball courts. Be sure to check them out during Welcome Back at the CAC from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday (though the CAC actually will be open longer, until 11:30 p.m.) Why pickleball? It’s America’s fastest-growing sport.
Havoc House will be open until 10 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. until midnight Tuesday to Sunday during Welcome Week.
  • Pickleball might make you think … pickles … and that might make you think of burgers … and that might make you think about Havoc House, named after renowned student cheer section the Havocs. It opened its doors and served its American fare to summertime staff, students and faculty in the Arena. But that soft opening now is a full-throttle opening for Welcome Week. Try the Thunderade, a lemonade-inspired, foodie interactive beverage that starts out blue but turns purple after adding a yellow concoction to the mix. The summertime menu also includes a Havoc Burger, various flatbread pizzas, a breakfast Donut Burger, Mac-and-Cheese Burger and more. The menu may change a bit for Welcome Week and may evolve, too, as the semester rolls along. Plans are for the eatery to be a reservation-only restaurant.
  • The final bit of news may not hold Donut Burger-like appeal but it's just as important to students on the growing east side of campus. This summer, GCU acquired north 29th Avenue from the city of Phoenix, and that means no non-GCU traffic will be allowed, other than that associated with adjacent private property. It also means increased campus security, more freedom of movement within the campus, increased appeal of the street that runs north and south, from west Camelback Road to north Missouri Avenue, and a connector for several new student housing projects of recent years on the east side.

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GCU Magazine

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