Construction currently outside the University Center is part of a renovation to create a joint MidFirst Bank and ASU cashiering office set to open in November.
A temporary wall now blocks the vacant office across Congressman Ed Pastor’s office and a fence surrounds the exterior wall of the University Center bordering Central Avenue, where the original wall paneling has been stripped away and a door installed.
The renovation will create a joint office between MidFirst bank and ASU cashiering, said Robin Araza, cashiering office senior office specialist. This office will built in the unnumbered space across from Congressman Ed Pastor’s office.
Phoenix Councilwoman Thelda Williams also said in a mass email to her district residents that the renovation will add an ATM and shaded seating outside the building where a fence blocks off what was once rocky landscape.
A MidFirst Bank representative could not be reached for comment in time for publication.
The drywall covering the front of the empty office was constructed to deter inhalation of hazardous particles released by the construction, Araza said.
Until the tentative Nov. 1 move date, the cashiering office can still operate in its current location.
Previously, the closest MidFirst Bank was located on the northeast corner of First Avenue and Washington Street, almost a half mile from Taylor Place.
“Of all the things they could put in the UCENT, I don’t think a bank is really necessary,” nursing freshman Makenzie Eldridge said. “They could put the writing center there instead of in the basement of the Post Office.”
The ASU Police substation, which is located next to the cashiering office, may expand into the soon-to-be vacant office, said ASU Assistant Chief of Police James Hardina.
“Since the time the ASU Police Department has been downtown, the Downtown campus has grown,” Hardina said. “We need to also grow to match that.”
Besides the need for a secure room to accommodate officer weapons and equipment, the ASU Police Department also needs to construct locker rooms to accommodate both male and female officers, Hardina said.
If the Downtown campus continues to grow at the same rate, Hardina worries the several holding cells and limited office space would severely hamper the department’s ability to serve the Downtown campus and the surrounding community.
However, while the soon-to-be-vacant cashiering office located next to the police substation in UCENT is being considered, the future home of the Downtown campus ASU Police is uncertain. Many locations are being considered, Hardina said.
The Police Department is an accredited agency so the police substation is also held accountable to various federal and state requirements and regulations.
“Some issues are mandated by federal and state law,” Hardina said. “We’re working with the Downtown campus to fit everyone’s needs.”
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