The Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine broke ground on the first phase of a 40,000-sq-ft medical center. The $1.9-million, initial 15,000-sq-ft phase will renovate a 25-year-old corporate office complex in downtown Tempe to be home to a six class rooms teaching space, a retail medicinary, community outreach clinic including 25 private office/exam rooms and a new hydrotherapy clinic. The concept and design phase started in late 2009 and on April 7, the groundbreaking and construction of the project began with general contractor Kitchell.

The design, by merzproject, a studio of Shepley Bulfinch, creates a healing and educational environment that represents the college�s philosophy and teaching methods based on nature and life in balance. Featuring a combination of light infused spaces throughout the facility, emphasis was put on nature and a healing environment represented through environmental conscious building materials, paired with architecture to assist the naturopathic principles.