Thumb Butte Suites is not just the newest building on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) campus. It boasts having the best view, too.
The ribbon-cutting for the $20 million residence hall officially occurred Oct. 5 even though students have been living in the 278-bed facility since the beginning of fall term in late August.
Zoe Crane, who is president of ERAU Associated Students, praised the new facility not only for its contemporary accommodations and features but also for a remarkable view from its floor-to-ceiling east windows.
The view lets people enjoy a 180-degree panorama of the tree-covered Bradshaw Mountains to the south, the Granite Dells due east and Mingus Mountain and further north the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff 90 miles away.
The 72,000-square-foot, three-story building features student suites, three large study rooms, three lounges, a game room, a fitness center, a hospitality area with an oven and three fully equipped laundry rooms.
ERAU Chancellor Frank Ayers opened the ribbon-cutting ceremonies by saying ERAU-Prescott set a new enrollment record with 2,800 students attending the university.
“Only freshmen will be living in the new residence hall,” he said.
ERAU President Barry Butler said the new hall makes a statement about ERAU and its learning environment. Beyond that, he said, “It’s a beautiful facility.”
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli said the City was pleased to partner with ERAU in supporting programs and projects that characterized its excellence. He emphasized the City will continue supporting the university in its growth for the benefit of the community.
City Manager Michael Lamar echoed Mengarelli.
“What we see here is just one more example of a mutually beneficial partnership — more bait on the hook—that will keep our talented young people in the community,” he said.
The opening of Thumb Butte Suites marks the 16th residence hall building on campus.