APU Works with its Neighbors in Developing a 20-Year Campus Development Plan

by Jessica Boggs '03

Azusa Pacific University invited city of Azusa residents and community officials to the first of a series of open forums in October. The forums enabled the university to partner with the community in formulating a 20-year campus development plan.

At the first two forums, October 1 and 5, the university sought to hear the key concerns, issues, and ideas Azusa residents had in regard to the plan, in order to include them in careful consideration.

At the first community discussion held on October 1 at Azusa Foursquare Church, a reception with beverages and cookies was held for attendees to enjoy while getting to know each other. After a greeting from APU President Jon Wallace, a video emphasized how excited the university is to work with its neighbors in developing a campus that will make the city and its citizens proud while advancing the university’s mission to train disciples and scholars to impact the moral and ethical fabric of According to the university planning team, the plan will help accommodate the growing number of students, and enhance the university’s connection with the city at large as well as its neighbors in Azusa. All improvements will take place on university-owned property on the East and West campuses and allow the school to build classrooms, educate thousands of new teachers, generate hundreds of new local jobs, and create a performing arts center that will benefit the entire community.

Attendees at the first forum were seated at tables equipped with paper, pens, a facilitator, and a recorder. University representatives encouraged residents to speak their mind, address any concerns they had, and contribute their ideas to APU’s plan. Toward the end of the meeting, each table presented their top three concerns to the entire group.

"I felt the night went very well," said Mike O’Connor, an Azusa resident since 1965. "I was curious about how much time APU was going to spend presenting their vision to us, but that wasn’t the case. The round table where everyone was able to brainstorm was a great problem solving method where everyone could be involved."

Input from attendees of the first two forums will be synthesized and given to the university's architects and planners. From there, the architects will re-evaluate the current plan in order to better accommodate both parties. The revised plan will then be presented to the public in the remaining meetings, slated for October 26 t 6:30 p.m. and 29 at 9:30 a.m.

"We were all excited by the turnout," said Joan Singleton, APU vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer. "The open forum was very helpful and I appreciated everybody’s candidness. There is wisdom among many."

For more information on the community forums, please call (626) 815-4582.