Central Arizona College


New Maricopa Campus Development

Maricopa, Arizona

720,000 gsf full build-out, 66,900 m2 full build-out, 217 acres, 90 hectares

Architecture, Campus Planning, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Landscape Architecture, Master Planning, Programming

Award of Merit -- On The Boards, PRIDE Awards, Best Education Project, RED Awards (Arizona Real Estate Development Awards), Chairman's Award

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“This campus celebrates and embraces the Native American and agricultural heritage unique to Maricopa. . . Sustainable concepts drive a new vocabulary and destination for a growing city.”

—Chris Wodka, VP, Finance & Admin. Services


Central Arizona College selected SmithGroupJJR to master plan its new campus and design a full first phase of architectural development. The firm delivered a creative, wide-ranging plan that promotes cross-disciplinary learning and provides a model for arid-region sustainable development.

Called “the Genome project,” the plan’s unique approach layered natural systems, land uses and cultural legacies to create a complete genetic blueprint for the new campus. The first phase of construction includes a student services building, learning center, instructional building, and central plant, all developed in concert with the master plan. The comprehensive approach establishes integrated academic neighborhoods that promote collaboration across disciplines while celebrating local heritage and vernacular.

Sustainable design creates a high performance learning environment. The architecture responds to its desert context through building positioning, use of glass and transparency, and solar shading systems. Site design draws inspiration from the desert arroyos, allowing for the effective flow of stormwater and pedestrians while uniting all edges of campus.

Related Content

A New Campus Prototype
CAC's Maricopa Campus wins Metal Construction Agency's top award.

CAC Master Plan Report
Read the plan for creating CAC's new Maricopa Campus.
Icon-pdf CAC Master Plan Report

Maricopa community gathers to celebrate new CAC campus
"When you come together as a team, anything is possible."