The Palo Verde trees are just beginning to blossom here in Sierra Vista. Remember the pictures I posted back in April of all the Palo Verde trees in bloom at ASU Polytechnic Campus? That shows how cooler we are here in Sierra Vista than in Phoenix. Those pictures were taken April 22nd and this was taken May 26th. Almost exactly five weeks difference … and the trees in Phoenix had blossomed so long that blossoms were dropping everywhere, while these here are just beginning to pop open.
Our visit to the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus last Friday seemed to be a productive one. David is considering returning to college to complete his Bachelor’s Degree and ASU has the degree program that he wants. Since he’s been unable to find work, it is looking like returning to college is the path to take at this time. Polytechnic specializes in Professional and Technological programs, emphasizing project and team-based learning. The professor David met with indicated that most of the students in the Digital Information Technology department work either on campus, directly for the school or through internships, or at business in town through internships, which the college helps facilitate, and that many students have their own businesses even before they graduate. The goal is to be employable upon graduation, not just come out with a degree. Sounds good! Let’s hope it is more than just a sales pitch.
The Polytechnic Campus opened in the fall of 1996 on the former Williams Air Force Base. As a new campus, it has been able to incorporate innovative and ecological designs as the campus site grows. I took a few pictures of some of these designs.
Two of the newest classroom buildings are connected by this open three-story breezeway. Those are Big Ass Fans at the top, keeping the air circulating.
On the outer sides of the buildings are iron stairwells and gratings along the sides that provide shade to the building. Ivy is being encouraged to grow up these gratings, adding an additional cooling effect.
Birds can make a mess of any campus, so they are kept away with bird sirens. Every so often, these sirens go off and make loud bird noises, supposedly scaring away real birds. The campus was remarkably free of bird droppings, so it must be working.
The bird siren is on the top edge of the building, just above the tree.
When they built these classrooms, they kept some of the original stones and made “hedges” out of them.
Our guides told us that these rock hedge areas provide a home for the lizards that eat scorpions and other unwanted nasties.
It was a very pretty campus, with many trees and outdoor shaded areas, which was a nice surprise.
I can see filling out a FAFSA form in my near future, just when I thought I was done with that process!