Private university sets high goals for Goodyear campus
By Elias C. Arnold - Aug. 26, 2008
The Arizona Republic
University of the Incarnate Word aims to have nearly 2,000 students in
Goodyear's satellite branch in 2012. University President Louis Agnese Jr.
laid out the goal for the Goodyear campus during a recent retreat with the
school's leadership team at the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa in Litchfield Park.
The private university signed a 99-year lease with Goodyear in May for land
north of the City Center, which is planned northwest of Estrella Parkway and Yuma Road. A red and white sign in an open field marks the school's future home.
The school hopes to raise nearly $25 million and break ground in early 2010.
The first phase, projected to cost $55 million, will boast an
80,000-square-foot classroom building, a 50,000-square-foot administration
building and a chapel. At build-out, the campus will span 30 acres.
Cyndi Wilson Porter, vice president for extended academic programs, said the
enrollment goal is doable because of a pent-up demand for a Catholic education
and private higher education in Arizona. Eventually, the university expects to
have 3,000 students in Goodyear.
The school, based in San Antonio, started classes at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear nearly a year ago. The university also plans to bring its
adult-education classes this fall to downtown Phoenix, at St. Mary's High
School, as part of a branding effort, Porter said. "People
have to understand who we are, and the only way to do that is to come out and
start teaching classes," Porter said.
Once the Goodyear campus is up and running, "We're going to be the first
comprehensive Catholic university on ground in Arizona with full
programs," said Wilson Porter, vice president for extended academic
programs. Illinois-based University of St. Francis and New Hampshire-based Franklin Pierce University also intend to establish campuses in the Southwest Valley city.
Like Incarnate Word, Franklin Pierce has signed a 99-year lease with Goodyear
to build and run a campus on 20 acres in the City Center development. In the
meantime, Franklin Pierce's classes in accounting, nursing and other subjects
are offered at Goodyear Financial Center, southwest of Litchfield Road and Van Buren Street.
Last Updated: 11/26/2008