Grand Canyon University has selected a Mesa site for its planned new campus in the southeastern part of the Phoenix metro area.
The site chosen by Grand Canyon is part of Eastmark, a mixed-use development of Arizona-based DMB Associates Inc. It's located near Ray and Ellsworth Roads, and used to be the home of the General Motors proving grounds.
The Christian private university located in west Phoenix had asked cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek and Tempe to submit proposals for a 75- to 100-acre site.
"Why the east valley? Because more and more students are fine living at home 3 or 4 years and staying in their local community and local churches, and so for those students the commute here is a difficult one," said Grand Canyon University CEO Brian Mueller.
Grand Canyon says construction of the new facility will start in 2014 with tentative plans to open in late 2015 and full build-out over seven years.
"We plan to teach 10,000 students on that campus... full array of what the college experience is."
According to Grand Canyon, plans call for offices and administration space, classrooms, labs, library, student union, student dorms, recreational fields and parking.
The mayor of Mesa is happy to welcome GCU to a growing list of colleges with Mesa campuses.
"Grand Canyon will be the sixth college to set up campus in Mesa, five of them this year alone. This is unprecedented," said Mayor Scott Smith.
Grand Canyon has made news with its college sports. Its basketball program is headed to Division I.
The Mesa campus will not have its own basketball team, but Grand Canyon will provide buses to bring students from Mesa to its new gym in west Phoenix.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.