The ASU Sidney Poitier New American Film School is a three-story, approximately 117,795 square-foot academic building with 1,500 square-feet of commercial space, located at the northwest corner of Pepper Street and Centennial Way, that will house programs offered by the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts related to digital and sensory technology, experiential design, gaming, media arts, film production and entrepreneurial development and support. These programs will utilize augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D modeling and visualization to develop technology with the potential to impact industries as diverse as health care, aerospace, manufacturing and entertainment. ASU will offer 25 annual scholarships for Mesa residents.
The new building is expected to be open to more than 750 students and faculty for the Fall 2022 semester. The ground floor will contain a large exhibition gallery, screening theaters and a social café. The upper floors will include a mix of production studios, fabrication labs, flexible classrooms and innovative spaces for collaborations with community and industry. Unique to this building will be a 2,800 square foot enhanced immersion studio where users can create augmented realities and map virtual spaces onto physical environments.
In addition to the primary academic programs, a number of co-curricular programs are planned to amplify the student experience and connect the facility’s programs to the larger innovation district. So far, those programs include Entrepreneurship + Innovation and FilmSpark.
The project budget is $73.5 million. The City of Mesa is responsible for 63.5 million and ASU is responsible for 10 million and an additional 10 million for interior build-out. ASU will also pay an estimated 1.3 million a year for operations and maintenance costs. The estimated return on investment for the City is about 7 million dollars annually.
The Plaza @ Mesa City Center is a two-acre gathering place, located just south of the ASU building, with a large open community space, water feature and seasonal ice rink.