ASU's kinesiology program will relocate to downtown Phoenix

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ASU's kinesiology program, part of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, will move from Tempe to the Downtown campus over the next four years. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

The ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation‘s kinesiology program is scheduled to move from Tempe to downtown Phoenix over the next four years.

Both classes and students will be moving to the Downtown campus, with freshmen beginning classes in fall 2011.

Current kinesiology students will not have to live downtown or commute to their classes, as upper-level courses will still be available in Tempe.

“It’s a nice campus,” interim co-director of kinesiology Jennifer Fay said of the downtown ASU site. “We do think (the move) is a positive thing, and we’re looking forward to it.”

The decision to move downtown was a prompted by the kinesiology major’s transition from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences into the College of Nursing and Health Innovation a year ago. Fay said the move’s purpose was mainly to bring the kinesiology program and the nursing school closer together.

Fay also said she believes the atmosphere of Taylor Place would help students be more connected with others within their major.

“We don’t require anyone to live downtown, but we do suggest it,” she said. “We think it will be a good thing for them to be a part of a residential community.”

Joseph Grossman, president-elect of the Downtown campus for the 2011-2012 school year, said he was happy with the expansion.

“This is an ideal situation,” said Grossman. “Kinesiology is a unique major, and you’ll start to see a lot of younger students as well as athletes getting involved here, which connects downtown Phoenix to the larger campus.”

Grossman also said he expects to see the campus grow even larger in the upcoming years.

“This is going to be a great way to integrate more students into the Downtown campus,” he said. “You’re really going to see a lot more majors coming down here.”

According to Nathan Fish, director of operations at Taylor Place,  there are currently 970 students living on the downtown campus, with plenty of room for more.

“The capacity for Taylor Place is 1284 students,” Fish said. This means that only about 76 percent of Taylor Place is full.

“I think it’s a really good idea to have all of the medical majors in one place,” said Melanie Medica, a 19-year-old nursing student. “And I don’t have people living in the rooms on either side of me!”

Fish said he could not comment on the possibility of ASU deciding to erect a new housing structure downtown, but he noted that with the move of the kinesiology program to the campus and possibly the addition of ASU’s law school, more students will mean a greater need for more housing.

Local business owners are also excited for the potential for more students, saying more traffic might tempt them to offer bigger perks for ASU students.

Michele Lavis-White, owner of Fair Trade Café, said she would strongly consider extending her shop hours to accommodate more students. Currently, Fair Trade’s hours are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

“About half of our business now is students,” Lavis-White said. “I would definitely like to extend hours, but right now, night classes are three hours long, and that leaves us with three hours without business, and we’d rather close if no one is coming in.”

Other business owners, like Juan Ortiz of My Big Fat Greek Restaurant and Mi Amigo’s manager Chris Mirza, also suggested extending hours, as well as other perks.

Both Ortiz and Mirza said they would begin to use the Sun Dollar system, extend happy hour, and add more options to both the happy hour and regular menus.

None of the parties interviewed expressed any concern with the move.

“Overall, we are very happy,” Fay said.

Contact the reporter at ztalieh@asu.edu