ASU students bringing new energy to historic downtown Phoenix building

Sep 21, 2016, 5:15 AM
The Westward Ho is a historic building that sits in the heart of downtown Phoenix (Mike Sackley/KTA...
The Westward Ho is a historic building that sits in the heart of downtown Phoenix (Mike Sackley/KTAR photo).
(Mike Sackley/KTAR photo)

PHOENIX — A nearly 90-year-old downtown Phoenix building is now home to a new program that brings together Arizona State University students and the building’s residents.

The Westward Ho, founded in 1928, was a popular hotel for many decades. Since then, the building has been turned into federally subsidized housing for the elderly and those in poverty.

Now, ASU students want to work with and engage the building’s nearly 300 residents through the new “Collaboratory on Central.” Students, faculty and researchers will work with residents and provide them with important social services.

“By reinvigorating the Westward Ho, this iconic structure of downtown Phoenix, we’re doing something that in many ways is more exciting than building a brand new structure,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Services and Community Solutions.

One of the goals of the program is to build a sense of community among the Westward Ho’s residents.

“Part of the challenge is they live sort of isolated lives,” said Koppell. “We are hoping to be kind of the glue that creates a community.”

Residents can receive regular health checks from ASU nursing students, like senior Danyela Buizer. She said they also provided pedometers to residents who wanted to participate in a walking program.

“[Residents] love interacting with all the students,” Buizer said. “We as students are very interested in their stories because we believe strongly that we can learn from them.”

ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and the Center for Child Well-Being are both located in the building. ASU has 15,000 square feet of office space in what was the Westward Ho’s Concho Room, a space that for years hosted musical acts and social events.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @KTAR923...

Phoenix Police searching for missing 6-year-old boy

Phoenix Police is asking for help to locate six-year-old Gerardo Romero Barrera. The child was reported missing on Friday night.
24 hours ago
(Photo courtesy of City of Phoenix)...

Firefighters save dog with ‘Fido Bag’ from apartment in Phoenix

Phoenix firefighters rescued a family dog from a smoke-filled apartment using a life-saving 'Fido Bag' on Thursday.
24 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

Heavy rain, strong winds roll through the Valley on Friday

Parts of the Valley were hit with heavy rain and strong winds on Friday, causing some flooding on highways and power outages. 
24 hours ago
(Google Maps Screenshot)...

Suspect still on loose, 3 parents arrested following lockdown at El Mirage elementary school

A suspect who reportedly had a handgun at an El Mirage elementary school is on the loose and three parents who attempted to enter the grounds were arrested Friday, authorities said.
24 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/White Castle)...

White Castle to open spot in Tempe in 2023, 2nd in Arizona

Popular fast-food chain White Castle announced plans to open a restaurant in Tempe next year, its second location in Arizona.
24 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix VA Health Care System)...
SuElen Rivera

Phoenix VA says rat infestation at medical center could be over

The Phoenix VA Health Care System said Friday rodent activity at its medical center appears to have slowed down in the last eight days, more than two weeks after rats were found.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
ASU students bringing new energy to historic downtown Phoenix building