Blog Archives

UA’s downtown Phoenix med school plans lab facility

[Source: Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic] — The University of Arizona’s Phoenix medical school will build a $15 million underground laboratory with a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the school has announced.  The college, which is a partnership with Arizona State University, will use the new building as a support facility for the existing research labs in downtown Phoenix.  The college won the grant through the NIH’s federal stimulus program.  Both UA and ASU researchers will benefit from the new facility.

The building is planned for a lot in downtown Phoenix at the existing college bounded by Fifth, Seventh, Fillmore and Van Buren streets, UA spokesman Al Bravo said.  It will be built mostly underground to take advantage of sustainable-building principles.  Officials could not say when work will begin on the project.  The construction and planning is expected to create 250 jobs.  When complete, the building will house about 33 new employees, mostly research assistants, Bravo said.

The 22,000-square-foot building represents just a fraction of the school’s expansion plans, which include a 268,000-square-foot education building for classrooms.   “This grant will allow us to build a shared-resource facility supporting all the great lifesaving research going on at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said William Crist, vice president for health affairs at UA.  “The NIH has acknowledged that our research in cardiovascular, cancer and neurological areas is critical to the development of the biomedical campus.”

The college admitted its third class of students in the fall.  The expansion plans eventually should allow the school to enroll 120 students per class, up from 48 now.  It also will allow for UA pharmacy students to study all four years in Phoenix and incorporate nursing students as well as programs offered by Northern Arizona University.  [Note: Read the full article at UA’s downtown Phoenix med school plans lab facility.]

Downtown Phoenix affordable housing project completed with stimulus funds

[Source: Arizona Guardian] — On Tuesday, September 15, Governor Jan Brewer and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims visited the construction site of Catherine Arms, a low income housing project being built at 315 W. Fillmore Ave. with the help of federal stimulus funds.  “The Arizona Department of Housing has identified this project as a very worthwhile program that will provide assistance to extremely needy victims of domestic and substance abuse,” said Governor Brewer.  “Catherine Arms is one of many projects receiving assistance in the State of Arizona, providing much needed housing for working families.”

Native American Connections began rehabilitating the Catherine Arms multifamily rental project when construction stalled due to the current economic situation.  Through the federal Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the Arizona Department of Housing was able to provide additional monies to fill a funding gap, saving jobs that would have been lost and allowing construction to continue on the project.  When complete, Catherine Arms will consist of 28 one-bedroom rental units, five of which will be reserved for victims of domestic violence and/or chronic substance abuse.  The amount of funding allocated to this project from TCAP is approximately $500,000.

Community Coffee with Phoenix Mayor Gordon, Aug. 8

small_cup_of_coffeeJoin Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon for coffee and a chat on Saturday, August 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave.  The Mayor’s “Community Coffee” offers you the chance to communicate with the Mayor one-on-one, pose questions, and provide feedback for him and his office.  This month the Mayor and Deputy City Manager, Ed Zuercher, will discuss the status of securing federal stimulus funds and what this means to residents, jobs, education, and the City’s Green Phoenix Initiative.

The Heard Museum will offer a special tour at 9:30 a.m, immediately following the event. Community Coffee and the tour are free.  To RSVP, click here.

Phoenix’s Tres Rios wetlands project gains federal stimulus funding

street map depiction of Tres Rios Wetlands east of 91 Ave. and south of Broadway Rd. The site is north of the Salt River and south of the 91 Ave. Wastewater Treatment Plant.[Source: City of Phoenix] — Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced federal stimulus dollars for the city of Phoenix.  The Corps is committing $36.4 million for additional construction at the Tres Rios environmental restoration project.  The project will restore the ecosystem in this 8-mile reach of the Salt River, including re-establishment of native vegetation and wildlife habitat.  The wetlands will work in conjunction with a regional wastewater treatment plant that currently services about 2 million residents in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon stated, “We are thankful to the Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing the importance of this project and to Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ 4th) for his help and support.”

The additional funding means that work will continue on what will someday total 380 acres of wetlands, riparian habitat, and trails at Tres Rios.  When completed, the project will be a multi-purpose environmentally effective way to treat wastewater, which is sustainable and more cost effective than traditional treatment methods.  The source water for Tres Rios is highly treated wastewater from the 91st Avenue wastewater treatment plant which is located on the northern bank of the Salt River.  ”Three hundred eighty six jobs will be maintained or created due to this funding, so we are not only able to continue with this critically important project, but keep people at work as well,” said Councilman Claude Mattox, chairman of the National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Commander, Colonel Thomas Magness said today, “We will do some remarkable work and employ a whole lot of people.  So everyone, get your hard hats ready.”

Stimulus money sought for downtown Phoenix Central Station, park and rides, shade

[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal] — Phoenix-area cities are lobbying for federal stimulus money to fix up the Central Avenue transit center in downtown Phoenix; build park and ride lots in Scottsdale, Mesa, Goodyear, and Avondale; and create more shade structures at Metro light rail and bus stops.

The city of Phoenix is spearheading the effort and will apply on behalf of the region for the federal money.  The Valley Metro transit agency and Phoenix’s Transit Department will hold a public hearing on the stimulus requests Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at 302 N. First Ave. in Phoenix.  The region is asking for money to:

  • Fix up the Central Station in downtown Phoenix, which serves as a light rail stop and bus hub.
  • Improve bus stops throughout Phoenix.
  • Build commuter park and ride lots in Scottsdale, on the west side and Mesa.
  • Fix up others lots, including locations at Happy Valley Road and Interstate 17.

U.S. economic stimulus and change in unemployment by county

Off the Map, a website dedicated to geodata and visualization, has taken’s dataset and mashed it on a map with regional unemployment numbers. Check out the interactive map. Also, be sure to read their post explaining what they did.[Source: Stimulus Watch] — Off the Map, a website dedicated to geodata and visualization, has taken’s dataset and mashed it on a map with regional unemployment numbers.  Check out the interactive map.  Also, be sure to read their post explaining what they did.