Thunderbird plans $30 million investment in Arizona hub

While Thunderbird rolls out new campuses worldwide, the home base in Arizona also will receive attention with approximately $30 million in facility and technology upgrades. Potential priorities could include the construction of a new student village, expanded dining services accommodations, technology upgrades, and demolition of some of the original 70-year-old Thunderbird Airfi eld buildings, which are currently closed or only used for storage.

Thunderbird Chief Information Offi cer Jim Harnden says an updated and detailed Campus Master Plan for these and other campus improvements will be completed by summer 2014, and the school will continue to explore options until then. Current students will participate in the process as members of the Campus Master Plan Advisory Team.

Projects will be funded on a 2-to-1 matching basis with up to $20 million from strategic partner Laureate Education, Inc., and up to $10 million from Thunderbird. As part of the agreement, Thunderbird will refi nance the developed portion of its campus through a sale/leaseback agreement with Laureate.

In addition to the above-mentioned capital improvement investments to Thunderbird, the sale/leaseback transaction will yield at least $47 million in cash to Thunderbird, which can repurchase the campus at the end of the lease. Alumni also will have the option to repurchase the campus within two years following the closing of the alliance, which is subject to approval by Thunderbird’s accrediting body. Details of this option are available under the “Alliance Facts” section at




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