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Grand Canyon University looking to rebuild neighborhood

PHOENIX — Some Grand Canyon University students will be working on projects not assigned by their professor in the near future.

The “Canyon Corridor Project,” part of an initiative with Habitat for Humanity, kicks off in January.

“Our campus really is spectacular, but our neighborhood is not,” said GCU president Brian Mueller.

“We want to bring the neighborhood along with us.”

Over the next five years, GCU plans to put many of its 11,000 on-campus students, 55,000 students online and 3,400 faculty and staff to work, helping to repair and renovate up to 700 west Phoenix homes.

“Every home has a different need,” said Mueller. “Some of them need a front yard, some need air conditioning, some need a new garage door, some need paint.”

Serving the community is one of GCU’s core values, especially in a community that has fallen on hard times in recent years.

“We want to be really involved…in restoring what was once a middle class neighborhood into a middle class neighborhood once again. That’s the long term view of what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Mueller.

According to Mueller, $700,000 is funded for phase one. It includes restoration of about 70 homes in the area of Camelback Road south of 27th and 35th avenues.