Eagerly anticipating the confirmation and construction of an Arizona State University campus in Payson goes without saying for me. I have followed the reports and updates in the Roundup and approve of such a facility here in our town.
Of course, there are questions and concerns that must be considered and I am confident they will be attended to.
The reason I am writing to you is because I have one of my own. In the beginning of the movement to build the campus, the inference was that it would be a green campus. I welcome such a possibility. Especially, after researching ASU’s previous and current endeavors to bring its existing campuses up to many of the LEED standards for green buildings.
The concern I have deals with what has transpired since the initial projection for the campus. The plan was to build a green campus that would be nestled among the pines with as little disturbance to the environment as was feasibly possible. Needless to say, I realize that a certain amount of impact is necessary and is readily acceptable on my part. However, over the past months and years of the preparation and planning, the project has grown considerably. I understand now that a multi-story hotel and an event center have been added. And, quite recently the Roundup has reported that a foreign company may be considering becoming the anchor business of a proposed “research park.” That is not a concern of mine unless the park is going to be a part of the site in question. If not, then I have no problem with it. If, instead, it is slated to also be nestled among the pines near the campus, that is disturbing to me.
Growth here in Payson is inevitable. Exploitation of the campus site for unassociated interests is not in the best interest of bringing higher education to our town.