Tag Archives: Ottawa University

August 31, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The 2017 League Annual Conference was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, August 22 – August 25. Our entire Surprise City Council were joined by elected officials from 91 other cities and towns and some of our state legislators. The conference is a platform for Arizona’s mayors and councilmembers to network and share best practices, innovative ideas and successful strategies.

The conference opened with an excellent general session with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett whose discussion focused on the mega trends shaping tomorrow’s communities. In addition, I attended sessions pertaining to water and wastewater needs- trends and investments; as well as increasing jobs and growth, focusing on municipal priorities and capitalizing on new opportunities to drive economic growth. Councilmembers and city staff held meetings onsite with Central Arizona Project (CAP), EPCOR and NEXXUS Consulting to discuss updates on CAP, including our current water supply, the new EPCOR rates, recent EPCOR concerns and improving our city’s transportation, respectively.

Ottawa University Surprise

Aerial image of inaugural class of OUAZThe inaugural class of OUAZ has begun! Classes started on Monday, August 21! Total enrollment (434 students), has surpassed Ottawa’s original target goal of 200 students. The university offers 21 intercollegiate sports and offers degrees from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and School of Business. In addition to this great news, OUAZ women’s soccer team won their first ever OUAZ athletic contest beating Arizona Christian 1-0! Congratulations on your successes!

I encourage you to follow the excitement of our newest treasure on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUSurprise.

Early Childhood Summit

I attended the First Things First Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center on Monday, August 28. The Summit brought together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and practices that help our youth get ready for school and build a strong foundation for life. The conference included sessions on child health and development, early learning and very important to me – early literacy and community awareness.

Homeschool Educators of Surprise

The Homeschool Educators of Surprise held their kick-off event at Northwest Regional Library on Monday, August 28. I was honored to speak at the event and engage with this passionate group of parents. Educating our youth is one of our greatest responsibilities. It is amazing to see how many parents are utilizing their time and talent to invest in the education of their children. This group consists of approximately 120 parents who homeschool their children.

Council Conversation on Surprise TV

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong, Commissioner Lee Whitehead and City Planner Joshua Mike joined me for my latest Council Conversation taping regarding a variety of topics involving arts and events in Surprise on Wednesday, August 30. The show will be available to watch on Surprise TV beginning next week, you can find it at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. If you have any ideas for future show topics, please let me know!

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Tour

West-MEC Superintendent Greg Donovan provided me with a tour of the new West-MEC campus on Wednesday, August 30. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. The campus will open later this fall to high school students. This particular campus will focus on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty and medical industries.

Ottawa University Competition Field Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Councilmembers joined administrators from Ottawa University at the August 31st groundbreaking ceremony for the competition field. The competition field will be located south of the tennis complex on Tierra Buena and it will accommodate the OUAZ football and soccer programs.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Labor Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of September 4-8. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday and so forth. Please note that not all Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, hence, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service provider(s). If you have any questions, please call our customer service line at 623.222.6000.

Fall Cleanup Event – Free

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 16. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, October 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Help Our City Collect Water Bottles for Hurricane Harvey Survivors

The City is partnering with Highland Prep High School to collect 100,000 water bottles to benefit the survivors, volunteers and first responders in Houston, Texas. We will be accepting cases of water in the City Hall lobby (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 5. Please feel free to deliver the water immediately behind our information desk at City Hall or the Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm but we are closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4. Thank you in advance for your generosity to this cause!

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. An information session will be held September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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June 22, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Canadian Cross-Border Healthcare Taskforce Initiative

Surprise, Arizona could be the next top destination for Canadian medical travel. Guest speaker Marc Kealey, CEO of Kealey & Associates in Toronto, Canada co-presented with Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic on the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise aimed at patients who desire the excellence of Canadian standards without the increasingly challenging wait times for services.

Arizona is home to more than 350 Canadian companies and more than 1.1 million Canadians visit our state annually, spending approximately $1.1 billion and staying here for an average of 20 days. Canadians tend to be highly satisfied with their healthcare quality, but they tend to have longer wait periods to receive healthcare services compared to their peers in other countries. This is most likely due to their physician shortage, and the fact their medical schools are at capacity with 1,500 studying abroad. Their healthcare system is publically funded but privately delivered. We are well positioned here. There are approximately 15,000 Canadian residents in Surprise.

Next steps for expanding healthcare services to our Canadian neighbors include the establishment of a taskforce and several roundtables that would make up the regulatory analysis and market feasibility. The finding recommendation should be presented to the City Council by the end of the year.

Ottawa University Arizona Update

Ottawa University Provost Dr. Dennis Tyner provided an update on the University. To date, 45 people have been hired to work at the University with more hires expected after July. Ottawa University was founded 152 years ago in Ottawa, Kansas. They have had a 40-year presence in the Phoenix market and have been serving Surprise community for 8 years at the Communiversity. Currently, the university is transitioning existing programs into a residential campus with a full blown athletic model. Dr. Tyner stated over 350 students have submitted letters of intent for Fall 2017; their registration target was 150 students. It is the goal of the University to have 3,000 residential students within 10 years.

Ottawa University Surprise expansion plan rendering

Degree programs will be available from the Schools of Business, Arts & Sciences and Education. Degrees from the School of Health and Applied Sciences should be available next year, and accreditation to have Engineering and Accounting degrees will go before the State this year. Ottawa University promotes a life of significance with engagement in quality work in the community and much more.


City Council Meeting

Major Zoning Amendment to Cotton Gin PAD

The applicant, NexMetro, requested an amendment to the Cotton Gin Planned Area Development (PAD) to allow multi-family residential as a permitted land use on the 10.8 acres (approx.) parcel located on the northeast corner of Waddell Road and Reems Road. Additionally, the applicant proposed to create new development standards for multi-family residential uses. This proposed PAD Amendment will allow for 127 single-story attached and detached rentals units. The PAD and site plan were approved with a 4-2 vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The project was unanimously approved by City Council.

Board and Commission Appointments

City Council unanimously approved appointments of William Coniam (Board of Trustees) to serve remainder of a term that expires June 30,2018; Renee Pastor to the Board of Trustees to serve a four year term with an expiration of June 30, 2021; Kathryn Chandler to serve on the Disability Advisory Commission with a four year term to expire on June 30, 2021; Edward Hanzel to the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission with a four year term expiring on June 30, 2021; and Marco Daleo to serve on the Tourism Commission to represent Hotels. He will complete the remainder of a term to expire on June 30, 2019.

Additionally, unanimously approved were the reappointments of the following members for four-year terms which will expire on June 30, 2021: David Sanders, Mark Brown and Ron Jenson for the Community & Recreation Services Commission; Robert Monahan for the Disability Advisory Commission; Kristin Peck and DeAngelo Hall for the Tourism Commission and Brooke Gaunt as the State Bar Representative for the Judicial Selection Advisory Commission.

City Clerk Sherry Aguilar administered the Oath of Office for all appointments and reappointments. Thank you to these gracious appointments for volunteering the time to serve our city.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee Meeting

Valley Metro Audit & Finance Committee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 15. As a subcommittee, we approved the fare policy change regarding ticket partnerships and the FY17/18 audit plan for Valley Metro RPTA Board consideration. The request to authorize an amendment to the regional fare policy will allow for additional ticket partnerships with events and event venues. For example, the cost of the ticket for an event will include the transportation through Valley Metro, so only one ticket would be required for admission and transportation.

Valley Metro COO Rob Antoniak provided an update of vendor contracts to ensure uninterrupted customer services for those customers that call or text Valley Metro seeking assistance through their automated customer service system. The current vendor unexpectedly terminated its contract effective June 30.

Highland Prep High School

Highland Prep Principal Ken Schlinger and I met on Thursday, June 15. Highland Prep is a tuition free public charter preparatory STEM high school that will be located at 15600 W. Hearn Road. They broke ground on Wednesday, June 21 and will open in a temporary facility this fall to a freshman class of 125 students. The school will open its new building in fall 2018 that will host freshman and sophomore classes. Each year, they will add another freshman class and hope to host 500 students.

Meet & Greet with Kealey and Associates

On June 20, I met with Kealey and Associates CEO Mark Kealey. Mr. Kealey is working with our Economic Development department to determine the feasibility of a new Canadian medical service center in Surprise.

Memorial Service for Mark Coronado

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado
Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado

It is with the heaviest heart that we learned about the passing of our

Community and Recreation Services Department Director Mark Coronado. Mark was only 59 years old.

Mark was hired by the City of Surprise in 2000 to lead the CRS Department, which was a three-person team at the time. Under Mark’s leadership the department grew to manage all recreational programming, city parks, aquatics, library services, community/sports tourism special events, recreational facility development, Spring Training operations and national/international tennis events.

During his tenure with the city, Mark also held the roles of Interim City Manager, Acting Economic Development Director, Acting Public Works Director and Acting Communications Director. In addition, he served as the Cactus League President for two consecutive terms from 2012-2016.

Surprise has lost one of our biggest assets who has left a lasting legacy for our city. He will be sorely missed.


Mark Your Calendar

Project Connect

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success!

Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

Help us make Project Connect in Surprise a success by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov for questions about the event.

Back to School Drive at Surprise City Hall

Please consider joining Surprise employees and show your support for our Surprise youth by donating back-to-school supplies that will benefit local kindergarten through 8th graders. All types of school supplies are needed and can be dropped off in the donation bins located in the lobby of City Hall (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) until July 31. For more information, please contact Stephen Chang at 623.222.3136.


Did You Know?

Surprise PD Officer Receives School Resource Officer of the Year Award

Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas
Surprise PD Chief Terry Young with Officer Chris Thomas

Congratulations to Officer Chris Thomas for being named the “The 2017 Arizona School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Year” award; an award recognized by the Arizona Association of School Resource Officers. Officer Thomas currently serves at Valley Vista High School and is a key part of the Monsoon family.

The Arizona SRO of the Year Award is given to officers who exhibit the qualities and goals of the School Resource Officer position. Through the triad approach to school policing (teaching, counseling, policing), the SRO attempts to bridge the gap that exists between police and the youth of today, teach law-related education to deepen their understanding of civic responsibility, and to develop their respect for the justice system.

Officer Thomas was nominated by Officer Wendy Klarkowski, several students, school staff members, and administrators at the Valley Vista High School; including Karen Winterstein, the Director of Student Services, at the Dysart Unified School District.

Presentation on Urban Design and Well-being

Earlier last month, Mr. Charles Montgomery, author of the book “Happy City” provided an overview of the relationship between urban design and well-being to the Maricopa Association of Government (MAG) Regional Council. The MAG Regional Council Report indicated that he explored how these principles can be incorporated into regional mobility planning as well as deliver economic and public health benefits.

According to the report, Mr. Montgomery said the top four components for urban health and happiness are social connections, freedom to move, belonging to a neighborhood and the inclusion of systems and spaces for everyone. These concepts will be integral in the development of regional planning efforts moving forward, according to MAG.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

February 23, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Budget Discussion For Fiscal Year 2018

On February 21, the Council had its second in a series of work sessions on the upcoming FY2018 budget. The focus was on the sources of funds for the General Fund. The General Fund’s unassigned fund balance is $2.5 million higher than estimated due to greater revenues and lower expenditures than expected for last fiscal year. These funds can be used for one time uses such as capital projects. Revenues for the current fiscal year are also currently 4% or $1.8 million above budgeted amounts. Impacts to local sales tax collections within the Bell Road and Grand Avenue Interchange Improvement project area are smaller than anticipated. These impacts are further offset by greater collections in other areas of the City.

Also reviewed were the city’s reserves which total $35.2 million for the current fiscal year. A revision to establish separate Operating, Budget Stabilization, and Emergency reserves within the General Fund was discussed. This will help to clarify the purpose of the General Fund reserves, identify when they can be used, and establish timelines to replenish them when they are used.

The budget discussions will continue over the next few Council meetings resulting in the June adoption of the FY2018 budget that will become effective July 1.

Discussion of Adoption of Public Art Plan

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong provided an overview of the proposed Public Art Plan. The purpose of the plan is to identify and refine how art is integrated into City Hall. Commission members have worked in partnership with Consultant Architekton. The Commission would like to utilize some of this fiscal year’s funding to cover some of the priority projects. The goal is to proceed with the highest impact projects for the lowest cost.


City Council Meeting

Major Amendment to the Sycamore Farms PAD

Sustainability Engineering Group, on behalf Taylor Trust Farms LLC, sought approval of an amendment to the zoning of the Sycamore Farms PAD to modify land uses and to adjust certain commercial development standards. These proposed amendments demonstrated intent to develop the site to better represent the current needs of the residential and commercial development community that has transformed since the adoption of the Sycamore Farms PAD 16 years ago. The amendment passed unanimously.

Sycamore Farms PAD Map

Approval of Annexation

Staff requested the approval of an annexation of a 3.34 acre portion of Peoria Avenue, located between Sarival Avenue and Reems Road. Based on a previous Intergovernmental Agreement, Maricopa County expanded and constructed this proposed annexation section of Right-of-Way on the south side of Peoria Avenue between Reems Road and Sarival Avenue. This annexation will transfer ownership and maintenance to the City of Surprise and provide a safe transportation option and improve connectivity. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Council repeals City-wide Temporary Sign Policy; and Bell and Grand Temporary Sign and Use Permit Policy

The city of Surprise has a history of responding to business needs. During the last economic recession, City Council adopted a citywide temporary signage policy, in 2009, to temporarily allow for a-frame signs, building banners and ease restrictions for sign walkers.

Council extended it for one year in 2012 and agreed to keep it in place during the Bell-Grand Construction Project in 2016.

Eight years later with an improving economy, Council approved removing the temporary policy, at their February 21 Regular Meeting. This move is aimed at eliminating the clutter of too many temporary signs that have popped up along city sidewalks and other locations throughout the city.

Businesses citywide have until April 22, 2017 (60 days following Council action) to comply with the original signage policy.

Under the original policy:

  • A-frames are not permitted.
  • Building banners are only allowed twice per year, for 30 days.
  • In the event of a Grand Opening, the building banner is permitted for a 60-day period.

The city also realized that closing Bell Road for seven months during the Bell-Grand intersection work would impact area businesses, so Council adopted a temporary Bell-Grand Signage Policy, for businesses surrounding the construction zone that allowed for more temporary signage during construction and waived temporary use permit fees.

Now that the work is complete, Council has voted to repeal this policy as well. Bell-Grand businesses have until April 22, 2017 to comply with the original signage policies as listed previously. In addition, Bell-Grand area businesses will once again be required to obtain a building permit for directional signage and special events may also require a Temporary Use Permit. These two items were temporarily lifted under the temporary Bell-Grand policy.

The ultimate goal is to remove clutter from our city streets and sidewalks and create an atmosphere that aims to make business signage more impactful.

The Sign Code is available online at:

https://www.municode.com/library/az/surprise/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIILADEOR_CH113SI

Questions? Call Community Development at 623.222.3000.

Purchase of Real Property in Original Town Site

The City Council has identified the Surprise Heritage District as an important area to the City’s heritage and as such to expand current city services in the area. The City owns the majority of property surrounding the site and thus has identified the Do Norma property as a property to acquire as an investment for City services in the future. The Council unanimously agreed to purchase the 5.84 acres.

Budget Amendment for Pickleball Courts and Shade Structures

In February 2015, City Council formed a Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee to review potential use of general obligation bonds to fund specific capital improvements. Construction of eight additional lighted Pickleball Courts was included in the review of the committee and the courts were supported by the Community and Recreation Services Advisory Commission. It was later decided to remove the courts from the bond package and look for other sources to fund this $500,000 project.

Construction of the additional courts adjacent to the existing courts will require the relocation of the sand volleyball courts at Community Park. Conservative estimated project completion would be August 2017.

Separately, over the years City Council approved the construction of a wide variety of Park and Recreation facilities including sports fields and courts, playgrounds, water features, dog parks, and open space. These facilities are a gathering place for all ages. During much of the year, the heat from the shade makes it difficult to fully enjoy our facilities. Equipment is hot to the touch, flooring too hot for bare feet, and without shade of any kind, there is no way to find respite other than leaving the facility and heading inside.

Shade structures may be constructed throughout the city at a cost of approximately $20,000 for a 30’x30′ and $40,000 for a 40’x40′. Staff will specifically analyze the needs citywide and recommend the best mix of structures to maximize the benefit from a $200,000 investment in shade. City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment to proceed.


Events & Meetings

Valley Metro RPTA Monthly Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board unanimously voted to officially make an offer for an Internal Audit Manager.

Surprise Becomes a College Town!

Ottawa University and the City of Surprise announced on Friday, February 17 that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in our state, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona.

Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The future 35-acre campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Communiversity at the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves to the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

Ottawa University Dedication
City Council Members with Dr. Kevin Eichner and Dr. Dennis Tyne

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival

Despite the inclement weather, the Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival took place this past weekend. Although there were a few cancellations, 67 artists participated. There were six wineries and a distillery as well as three musicians. There were approximately 1700 patrons on Friday and a few hundred the remainder of the days.

State of the City Address

In her message to residents, businesses, partners and volunteers on Wednesday, February 22, Mayor Sharon Wolcott demonstrated that when we work together in the spirit of community pride we enhance quality of life for all ages and establish a solid foundation for future generations. She cited examples of success in transportation, including the on-time completion of the Bell-Grand intersection improvements; public safety; job growth; and social-service support that have all improved quality of life in Surprise.

As part of the Surprise International initiative, Mayor Wolcott announced the creation of a cross-border task force to study innovations in the $100 billion health tourism industry and to explore whether Surprise can play a role in “setting a new standard in medical tourism delivery.” The task force will be comprised of Canadian and Arizonan industry partners, and will be co-chaired by Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic.

She reminded the audience that Surprise remains a growing community and that will increase the demands in maintaining a safe and vibrant city and cited the continued need to support transportation improvements, educational opportunities and securing space for future public safety locations, parks and open space.

Watch the video of the speech or read the transcript at www.surpriseaz.gov/sotc.


Mark Your Calendar

Mayor’s Welcome Back Lunch

Mayor Wolcott will be hosting the 15th Annual Mayor’s Welcome Back Luncheon to celebrate the return of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 2 from 11 am – 1 pm. The event will take place at Surprise Stadium – Sanderson Ford 1st Base Concourse, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue.

Event admission will include a catered lunch provided by State 48 Brewery; 1 plaza level ticket to the Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals scheduled game; and a 15th anniversary commemorative gift. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear about the upcoming season from team staff. For more information, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip A Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 pm.

The explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc


Did You Know?

15th Annual Spring Training Season Starts This Weekend!

We are thrilled to kick off the 15th Annual Spring Training Season in Surprise! If you haven’t secured your tickets for the Kansas City Royals or Texas Rangers games, it’s not too late! The first game begins on February 25, at 1:05 pm, with a hometown match-up between the Royals and Rangers to support our local youth sports programs!

This season, there is something for everyone! Here are a few of the fun promotional event dates:

February 26 – KC Royals Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 2 – KC Royals Mascot “Slugger” visits Surprise Stadium
March 5 – Texas Rangers Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame Inductees
March 12 – Ronald McDonald visits Surprise Stadium
March 25 – Budweiser Clydesdales visit Surprise Stadium

With craft brew all the rage these days… For $30 you have access to the Four Peaks Pavilion in right field, a catered meal and a beverage! Other options include the Boulevard Craft Brew tent and our local State 48 craft brew stand! New on the food menu includes grilled corn on the cob and the Triple Play- a hot dog inside a hamburger, wrapped in bacon!

For a complete game schedule and more, visit www.surprisespringtraining.com or call 623.222.2222.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

Ottawa University Announces New Residential Campus in Surprise

City of Surprise to become university town with classes beginning August 2017


Ottawa University and the City of Surprise today announced that Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ), a new residential university campus, will be opening Fall 2017 in Surprise, Ariz., expanding upon the university’s 40-year presence in the Valley of the Sun, making Surprise a university town, and bringing intercollegiate athletic programs to the West Valley.

OUAZ Surprise, 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, will offer a full complement of academic, athletic and student activity programs primarily for traditional-age college students, including multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university will be home to 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams, and will be working toward a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) designation. Upon award of the designation, OUAZ would be one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona. The school mascot is a grey wolf and the sports teams are called the Spirit.

At a dedication event this morning, Ottawa University President Kevin C. Eichner announced the university aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, with a target of up to 3,000 residential students over 10 years, adding to its current 8,300 alumni roll in the Arizona market.

“Ottawa University has expanded strategically during the last 151 years and we are poised for significant growth and exceptional student outcomes here in Surprise,” said Eichner. “We are grateful the City of Surprise shares our vision for delivering a new model for education with an emphasis on educating and developing the whole person, and creating work-ready graduates who are prepared to be successful on the job from day one.”

Ottawa University is a private, non-profit, Christian university that was founded in Ottawa, Kansas in 1865. The university has been operating in Arizona since 1977 with campuses in Phoenix and Queen Creek, and has been serving the Surprise community for eight years at its current location as part of the Communiversity at Surprise, a partnership of higher education institutions. Historically, the Surprise campus has primarily served adult learners, which it will continue to do; the traditional-age student is a new market for OUAZ.

The future 35-acre OUAZ campus will be embedded within the Surprise City Center, integrating with the existing 250-acre City of Surprise Civic Center and Recreation campus. The school will also launch out of existing space within the Civic Center, allowing students to avail themselves of the surrounding city amenities, including the Surprise Aquatic Center, Dream Catcher Park, the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, and Surprise Stadium, as well as robust shopping and dining amenities.

“Surprise is a college town! Our graduating high school seniors now have the option to pursue a college degree in their hometown,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “This partnership keeps our promise to residents; after all, university campus development is part of the City Council’s Strategic Plan and we could not ask for a better partner than Ottawa University. This is a storied educational institution with more than 150 years of success and a 40-year foothold in the Phoenix market. They know us and we know them!”

Expansion plans for the Surprise campus include development of residential housing, an indoor activity center, dining and conference space, and new athletic fields, including a stadium with artificial turf for football and soccer.

OUAZ innovates a unique approach to education. In addition to traditional academic degree and athletics programs, the University places significant emphasis on evolving all dimensions of the student: intellectual, spiritual, physical, artistic, financial, familial and vocational. A key delivery vehicle for this approach is OUAZ’s Adawe Center, which pairs a life coach with each student upon registration who will remain with the student throughout their enrollment at the university, helping them identify and pursue their degree and life paths, and preparing them to pursue their desired vocation upon graduation. Another distinctive element of OUAZ is “personal growth days.” No classes are held on Wednesdays so students may take part in chapel, attend the numerous personal and professional skills development conferences and workshops offered throughout the year, take part in volunteer or service activities, and share a meal together with faculty and staff.

OUAZ’s unique FlexTerm academic calendar offers a 21st century approach to enable students to learn how and when they want to learn. Courses are offered in formats that run for four weeks, eight weeks, or in more traditional semester-length time frames. With this format, students will typically take just two courses at a time, allowing them the benefit of concentration vs. fragmentation (when trying to balance four or five courses in a traditional semester system). The OUAZ FlexTerm calendar encourages students to tailor their educational experience and investment to go deeper into their studies while also interspersing their classroom learning with internships, service learning, international and cross-cultural study programs. It also allows students to accelerate toward graduation in less than four years and even to combine master’s degree studies within their educational plan, enabling OUAZ graduates to enter the job market with a combination of degrees.

OUAZ will be introducing the Ottawa Alliance for Quality Christian Education, a network of not-for-profit mission-based organizations that are interested in supporting a Christ-inspired community of grace throughout their educational institutions and the world. The Alliance aims to reduce the cost of Christian education, increase enrollment at Christ-focused schools and encourage enrollment at Ottawa University. Scholarships for students; faculty, staff and board members; and, faculty spouses and student parents will be available.

Of particular interest for strong academic and service-minded students will be the prestigious Founders and Pioneer Scholarships targeted for well-qualified and motivated students who will serve with OUAZ to shape student culture at the new campus. A limited number of these scholars can begin serving the institution this spring by working with prospective students and their families.

“We are a steadfastly Christian, positively open and inclusive university empowering students from around the world and every background to become ‘whole’ people, to develop their passions and abilities, and be ready to face the world when they graduate from OUAZ,” said Eichner. “We are proud to be bringing a full-fledged residential university experience to Surprise and to our future students.”

The OUAZ leadership team includes: Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Provost; Keith Johnson, Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Amy Hogan, Dean of Instruction; Brandon Fowler, Dean of Student Experience; Dr. David Barnes, Executive Director of University Advancement, Arizona; and Kevin Steele, Director of Athletics.

Additional faculty hires are underway, with a number of key athletic coaching positions already filled. Student recruitment for August enrollment has begun.

For enrollment information and to learn more about OUAZ Surprise, visit www.ottawa.edu/Surprise.


About Ottawa University

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and opening inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving more than 4,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz. (opening Fall 2017), and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; and online. For more information, visit www.ottawa.edu.