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Surprise aims to become 'college town'

West Valley mayors recently wrapped up the season for State of the City speeches. It was a time for city leaders to rave about their communities, share their visions for the future and, typical of the fast-growing West Valley, highlight major developments that will bring jobs and investment to the region.

Higher education and business innovations were the talk in the northwest Valley, while southwest Valley cities continue to reap the benefits of strategic location by attracting more warehouse, distribution and manufacturing companies.

Here are some of the projects West Valley mayors teased to during their speeches. While Goodyear didn't hold a State of the City address, The Arizona Republic reached out to include major developments happening in the city.

Surprise aims to become 'college town'

Mayor Sharon Wolcott said Surprise will soon be a “college town” as she announced a deal with Ottawa University to develop a 35-acre campus next to the city's civic center.

The non-profit Christian university based in Kansas aims to enroll 250 students by August and plans to house 3,000 residential students in the next 10 years, according to President Kevin Eichner.

Classes will begin in August in the 26,000-square-foot former "Communiversity" building in Surprise, where Ottawa has offered adult education for the past eight years.

The Surprise campus — Ottawa's first residential campus outside of Ottawa, Kansas — is expected to eventually include dormitories, an indoor activity center, dining options, conference space and athletic fields, including a stadium, for 19 varsity sports.

MORE: Surprise aims to become 'college town' with Ottawa University expansion