City of Mesa, Benedictine University campus recognized for environmental innovations Repurposed, renovated space that is now the University’s main campus building wins statewide award

October 2, 2014

Benedictine University at Mesa's Gillett HallMesa, Arizona ~ The Benedictine University at Mesa main campus building, Gillett Hall, once had the honor of welcoming new life into the world as the former Southside Hospital, and now welcomes students entering a new chapter of their life.

After a joint venture with the City of Mesa to renovate the unused space and bring the area its first four-year Catholic University campus, the city and University share a new honor for forging one of the best adaptive reuse collaborations in Arizona.

The City of Mesa recently received an Environmental Excellence Award of Merit from Arizona Forward for the adaptive reuse of Gillett Hall, the former Southside Hospital building located at 225 E. Main St. that now serves as the University’s academic building. Gillett Hall underwent a $10 million, yearlong renovation before opening to classes in September 2013. City officials attributed the award to the joint effort between the City of Mesa and Benedictine to not only maintain much of the historical context surrounding the building but to also create a sustainable end product.

“I was honored to represent the City of Mesa by accepting this prestigious award,” said Mesa Vice Mayor Chris Glover. “I am thrilled that the partnership between the City of Mesa and Benedictine University to keep this historic property an important part of our downtown has been recognized. The partnership between the City of Mesa and Benedictine University was on full display with this prestigious award.

“The work that both parties put in to preserve and repurpose an important part of downtown and turn an historic building into a beautiful home for education earned the recognition it received,” Glover added. “The cooperation between the city and BenU to not only make this project happen, but to also make it environmentally sustainable, is a testament to the two organizations’ commitment to making Mesa a great place to live and work."

Gillett Hall – which includes classrooms, nutrition and computer labs, faculty and administrative offices, a community room, chapel and spirit store – has automatic lighting shutoffs, recycled materials and energy-efficient lamps.

Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education to operate an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher learning in Arizona.

Applications are being accepted for spring 2015 classes which begin January 12.

For more information about Benedictine, please visit or Gillett Hall at 225 E. Main St. in downtown Mesa, or contact (602) 888-5533 or


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Education and technology blog edcetera named Benedictine University at Mesa among 10 universities in the nation on the cutting edge of tech for 2013.

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