Veritas Hall is a five-story university housing building for OUAZ at 14380 W. Tierra Buena Lane in Surprise.

     PHOENIX, ARIZ.  (April 29, 2024) – For 30 years, Cawley Architects has elevated collaboration to the pinnacle of its list of design strengths. That collaboration has played an important role in its relationship with Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ) in Surprise, Arizona.

Cawley Architects embarks on its next milestone anniversary and further forges its relationship with OUAZ with its latest project at the school, the five-story university housing building Veritas Hall, 14380 W. Tierra Buena Lane in Surprise.

“It has been written many times that selecting the right architectural firm is one of the most important steps to guaranteeing a successful project, and for that reason we didn’t hesitate to once again select Cawley Architects, this time for the design of Veritas Hall, a multipurpose facility that contains office space, classrooms, and student housing,” said OUAZ President Dr. Dennis J. Tyner.

“The leadership team at Cawley already built a strong relationship with us when they worked diligently on the O’Dell Center, and through their actions they proved that they were an organization driven to building relationships while trying to maximize customer satisfaction. Their most recent design on Veritas Hall has only strengthened our relationship with their organization and we are thoroughly satisfied with our newest structure,” Dr. Tyner said.

Tyner added that the external appearance of the $18.35 million Veritas Hall matches perfectly with the architecture of the other buildings on campus, and the internal design of the residential suites has made those living spaces in highest demand by OUAZ students. Veritas Hall totals four floors and 192 beds.

The Cawley-OUAZ relationship began years ago with another relationship – between the four-year school and the City of Surprise. The Surprise City Council conceived the idea of a partnership with a university institution inside its 200-acre, city-owned civic and recreation campus.

Encouraging a seamless blend of education and public uses, the city council invited OUAZ to embark on a joint effort to benefit the citizens of Surprise, the state of Arizona, and Ottawa students. The school has served Metro Phoenix for the past 40 years and boasts more than 8,000 alumni in the Valley. As the needs of OUAZ have evolved, the partnership has been sustained, and the school has now proudly added the first phase of a new dormitory and academic facility to its ever-growing campus footprint.

Veritas Hall

“All successful projects begin with creating positive relationships. From the beginning, it was obvious to us that the City of Surprise and OUAZ would be collaborative partners,” said Cawley Architects President Paul Devers. “The teams understood the projects’ goals and worked together to design and deliver these essential buildings that will further the growth of the university and surrounding community.”

Encompassing 59,260 SF, Veritas Hall is immediately adjacent to Surprise City Hall and links OUAZ and the City of Surprise campuses, strengthening the vision the pair have endeavored to create. At 70 feet high, it is the tallest point including five stories in Surprise.

Veritas Hall was carefully designed to serve evolving student living needs, including 4,400 SF of additional classroom space, and providing a much-needed 5,250 SF office expansion for OUAZ’s growing faculty. Phase I consisted of 192 beds, and a future Phase II will provide an additional 212 bed spaces.

New classrooms on the ground floor allow flexibility for additional academic courses, scheduling, and short student travel times. These new spaces include state-of-the-art audio/video capabilities and ensure the school maintains smaller, intimate learning environments.

The four residential floors provide opportunities for students to experience campus living, from four-person bunked bedrooms to six-person dormitories that provide individual sleeping quarters. Each floor plan option includes private restrooms, kitchenettes, and dedicated living space. All floors are equipped with communal and private study space, with each floor including a unique “destination space” for students. A dedicated movie theatre brings the cinema to the students, and dedicated E-sports and tabletop gaming rooms provide a respite from study.

The decision to prioritize on-campus housing brought about several positive impacts for the City of Surprise and OUAZ. The increased presence of students within the campus area stimulates local businesses and fosters economic growth. With a more engaged on-campus community, cultural and social dynamics are thriving.

Continuing the collaborative relationship cultivated on previous projects, Cawley Architects, the City of Surprise, OUAZ, and Chasse Building Team successfully designed, permitted, and delivered this project in 15 months. (Veritas Hall opened in August 2023). The duration from design release to completed construction was an extremely short schedule during a time of supply chain and labor availability issues.

Despite facing challenges, the construction was successfully completed in a way that allowed the entire campus to continue its operations seamlessly.

“Working closely together, the team met the logistical challenges presented by the project head-on, diligently outlining a plan that met the compressed design/construction timeline and the need to maintain daily operations at neighboring university and City of Surprise facilities,” said Justen Cassidy, Lead Architect with Cawley Architects. “We are proud to have partnered with OUAZ and the City of Surprise on another successful project.”

Major subcontractors on the project include Hardrock Concrete, HJD Framing, Wye Electric, Ironhorse Plumbing, and Ken Munch Air.

 About Cawley Architects

 With almost 900 high-value projects in our portfolio, Cawley Architects is one of the most prolific architectural firms in Arizona. For 25 years, we have been applying our uniquely collaborative approach to project management in order to create buildings of superior form, function and value. During that time, it has been our privilege to participate in some of the top commercial projects throughout the Valley along with an exceptional group of clients, contractors, and design professionals. We are knowledgeable in the specialized architectural requirements, technologies and trends of many building types. This includes: Industrial, Healthcare, Education, Bioscience, Restaurant, Entertainment, Office, Commercial, Automotive, Manufacturing, Distribution, Aerospace, Retail and Tenant Improvement. From small neighborhood bistros to large biotech laboratories, we have the expertise, resources, and connections to serve your needs and execute your plan — and provide you with unsurpassed value.