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Living Large Peoria ranks as one of Arizona's great cities, boasting meticulously planned neighborhoods, high- caliber schools and an enviable standard of living HOUSING AND EDUCATION by ANDREA MARKOWITZ LEFT: Housing oppourtunities are varied and many in Peoria. BELOW: First- graders at Sky View Elementary School enjoy their first day of school. The school is part of the Peoria Unified School District. BOTTOM: The Discovery Center at Vistancia. I t's easy to see why Peoria is one of Greater Phoenix's fastest- growing cities. Its safe neighborhoods, low property taxes, high job growth and affordable lifestyle started attracting savvy residents and business owners well before Money magazine named Peoria one of 2008' s 100 " Best Places to Live." Live, work and play Singles and families at every income level enjoy Peoria's superior standard of living. " One of our Council's goals is to create a community where you can live work and play," said Kirk Haines, Peoria's parks manager. It's a goal that's already being real-ized in mixed- use communities like Vistancia and Park West. Vistancia's three villages offer resort- style living in homes that range from modest starters to upscale villas. Amenities include community golf courses, pools, tennis courts, a basketball gymnasium, spas, parks, restaurants, shops and schools. The Discovery Trail connects the villages and amenities with non- motorized access. " Residents develop a sense of community with the central recreation facility where everyone can come together," said Glen Van Nimwegen, Peoria's community devel-opment director. The upscale Alta Park West apartments afford residents a convenient lifestyle within the Park West Mall complex, which Chris Bilotto, Park West's general manager, describes as "… a distinct blend of retailers and restaurants in a destina-tion- like setting," including serene landscaping with parks and tree- lined streets. No matter where you live in Peoria, its future interconnecting trail system will encourage a healthy lifestyle while you live, work and play; you can walk or ride your bicycle from home to commercial districts, parks and recreation centers. Quality education The Peoria Unified School District fulfills its vision statement, " Every student, every day, prepared to meet tomorrow," with the support of top- notch faculty and programs. The rigor-ous K- 12 curriculum includes individualized attention. Before and after- school programs, arts education, career and technical educa-tion, special education, a gifted program, plus athletics and other extracurricular activities ensure all children reach their learning and achievement potential. Post- secondary schools in and around Peoria include the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Western International University and the University of Phoenix, which have campuses in Peoria and Phoenix respectively. Both cater to working students with live classes and online courses. Western International specializes in business pro-grams while the University of Phoenix offers www. visitpeoriaaz. com • PEORIA, ARIZONA 27

28 PPEEOORRIIAA,, AARRIIZZOONNAA • www. visitpeoriaaz. com Check Out The All New AZ Magazine! In each issue, AZ brings you all that's new, interesting, and important in the Valley. ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? + ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? + ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? + ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? cover2TR. indd 24/ 22/ 08 11: 41: 31 AM ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? SUBSCRIBE & SAVE 75% THAT'S 10 ISSUES FOR $ 10! SUBSCRIBE AT AZMAGAZINE. AZCENTRAL. COM humanities, education, social science, business and more. In Glendale, Arizona State University's West campus has more than 40 under-graduate and graduate degrees in four colleges: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Human Services, Global Management and Leadership and Teacher Education and Leadership. " The hallmark for students is engaged, integrated learning in which community involvement and benefit are not inciden-tal activities, but a defining core of their educational experience," said ASU presi-dent Michael Crow. The Thunderbird School of Global Management, also in Glendale, offers curriculum in functional areas as marketing, finance and opera-tions, which prepare graduate students to enter the global economy. Glendale Community College offers more than 60 degree programs and 70 certificate programs. Its Institute for Business, Industry and Technology pro-vides academic, vocational and corporate training programs for employees of manu-facturing and financial firms, educational and health care systems and public enti-ties. Apollo College's Phoenix and West Valley campuses offer health care, dental assisting and hygiene, pharmaceutical and veterinary assisting programs. Peoria's public libraries provide additional educational and cultural enrichment for all ages, including busi-ness resources for adults as well as music, film and story- telling programs for youngsters. ? Highways and byways: The nearby Loop 101 circles around Greater Phoenix, connecting Peoria with north/ south Interstate 17 and east/ west Interstate 10. Future Loop 303 also will connect Peoria to I- 17 and I- 10. Public transportation: Greater Phoenix's Valley Metro bus serves Peoria's Park & Ride facility ( near the Peoria and Grand avenues Limited bus routes), and other fixed routes ( see www. valleymetro. org for routes and schedules). The buses are wheelchair accessible and have bike racks. Call 623- 773- 7435 for Dial- A- Ride and American with Disabilities Act ( ADA) services. Nearby airports: Choose from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Glendale, Mesa and Goodyear regional airports: http:// phoenix. gov/ AVIATION . Getting there www. peoriaaz. gov • 623- 773- 7300 Chamber of Commerce • 623- 979- 3601 www. peoriachamber. com Economic Development 623- 773- 7735 • www. peoriaed. com Peoria Sports Complex • 623- 773- 8700 www. peoriaaz. gov/ sportscomplex Peoria Public Libraries www. peoriaaz. gov/ library Peoria Unified School District http:// portal. peoriaud. k12. az. us Western International University www. wintu. edu Arizona State University West campus www. west. asu. edu Thunderbird School of Global Management www. thunderbird. edu For more information HOUSING AND EDUCATION