Chamber backs construction stimulus plan

The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce has given its support to a construction stimulus proposal that is framed around the capital needs of the state’s three public universities.

“This investment plan will ensure that NAU can continue its important mission of producing educated graduates who can help meet the ever increasing workforce demands of our growing region and state,” said a letter signed by Julie Pastrick, president and CEO of the Flagstaff chamber, and David Evans, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors.

It is estimated that the proposal could keep Arizona from the grips of recession by pumping more than a billion dollars into the state’s economy and creating about 31,000 jobs during this current downturn in Arizona’s construction industry.

The plan proposes to invest $1.4 billion in revitalizing decaying buildings and constructing new facilities at Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. At NAU, it would mean $310 million in construction projects—$169 million to address critical building maintenance issues and $141 million to construct a new health professions facility and a high-tech classroom building.

The proposal—known as SPEED, for Stimulus Plan for Economic and Education Development—already has received support from:

  • Flagstaff Mayor Joe Donaldson
  • Flagstaff City Council
  • The Flagstaff Forty
  • Flagstaff Unified School District
  • Coconino County Board of Supervisors
  • Coconino County Sustainable Economic Development Initiative
  • Chris Bavasi, vice chair, Northern Arizona University Foundation
  • Harry Hengl, treasurer, Northern Arizona University Foundation
  • Arizona Students’ Association