Phoenix voters gave strong support to the seven bond propositions on Election Day, allowing city officials to move forward with $878.5 million worth of citywide projects, including several related to the biosciences. All propositions received at least 63 percent approval.
Bond funds will pay for 164 individual projects, such as police and fire stations, libraries, historic landmarks, and storm sewers. The most notable is the expansion of the fledgling Arizona State University campus in downtown Phoenix. Other significant funding advances key bioscience-related activities, including the University of Arizona College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy, Phoenix Biomedical Center, and research and development infrastructure improvements.
According to Martin L. Shultz, chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee and chair of the city’s Education Bond Subcommittee that made the initial funding recommendations, “We’re all pleased with the voters of Phoenix. Their expression of support for education through Proposition 3 is important to the future of Phoenix and our region and to science in Arizona.”
In all, $198.7 million in bond funds target education, including:
- Complete planning, design, and build-out of ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus ($184 million)
- Build small high schools that focus on nursing, science, technology, and engineering ($7 million)
- Interior and exterior renovations of historic Phoenix Union High School buildings for the University of Arizona College of Medicine ($2.7 million)
- Research and development infrastructure improvements ($2 million)
- Infrastructure improvements for the Phoenix Biomedical Center ($1.5 million)
- Site planning for the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy ($1.5 million)
“We have defined the future of our community for decades and generations to come,” said Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon at a post-Election Day rally downtown. “And I am grateful and proud of the people of Phoenix who have stepped up and invested in their future. We’ve gone from hope to a guarantee that these projects will occur.”
Residents should not expect all such projects to sprout up anytime soon. The bonds will be sold to investors over the next five years. And once the money is in hand, some of the larger projects will take several more years to design and construct. Based on the way the bond program is structured, the first allocation of bonds sold will be devoted to ASU’s downtown campus.
For more information:
“Phoenix voters appear to back all 7 bond propositions,” Arizona Republic, 03/15/2006