Phoenix Rising Investments, Willmeng Celebrate Grand Opening of New Aviation Institute of Maintenance Campus

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March 7, 2024 – PHOENIX, Ariz. – Phoenix Rising Investments (PRI) recently celebrated the grand opening of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s (AIM) first Phoenix campus in the AMPlify Riverpoint business district. The new AIM campus is located in AMPlify Riverpoint at 4025 S. 32nd Street in Phoenix, just south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and just four miles from South Mountain High School, which has an exploratory aviation program. AIM has entered into a partnership with South Mountain to offer dual-credit aviation maintenance programs and has an ongoing partnership with American Airlines. 

“We selected this area not because it’s a four-mile drive to the airport but because the South Mountain Village is an area that we identified as a place where we could bring great opportunities,” said AIM President Joel English. 

In 2022, PRI recognized AMPlify Riverpoint’s potential as an office-to-industrial redevelopment candidate due to its access to power infrastructure, good structural quality, and strategic location. Situated adjacent to high-powered overhead lines and offering direct access to the I-10 – as well as being 1½ miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport – the property was an ideal choice for users who demand highly sought-out features like ample power and proximity to their workforce, or in AIM’s case, their students.  

AIM has a nationwide network of campuses dedicated to providing high-quality, industry-focused training and education for the next generation of skilled professionals in aviation, HVAC, industrial manufacturing technician and welding trades. This building marks AIM’s 15th campus, extending their nationwide presence to the Arizona market. 

“This is a very exciting day for us and we are an aviation city, this is one of our key industries in this community, so I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that we’re turning a former call center into a center of education for high-wage and high-skilled employment,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Before I became mayor, I worked in economic development, and workforce development is an issue that is near and dear to me, so improving the workforce and attracting and retaining companies is something I am committed to.” 

PRI led the way in development for the new vision at AMPlify Riverpoint. Evolution Design was the design partner and Willmeng Construction led the team that transformed an 80,309-square-foot call center into a modern educational and training space. The scope of work entailed the addition of 15 new classrooms, a welding room, a composite lab, and two large airplane hangars. Sized at approximately 21,000 SF and featuring 40-foot high doors, the hangars can accommodate work on planes and helicopters. 

The grand opening was attended by several notable guests, including Gallego. Also on hand was Norfolk, Virginia Mayor and AIM Chancellor, Kenny Alexander; The Head of Maintenance for American Airlines, Mark Miner; AIM founder, Gerald Yagen; AIM President, Joel English; and Willmeng President, Mike Mongelli.  

“I just want to say congratulations, especially to the AIM leaders and all of the folks that have been working hard to open this facility that will serve the aviation community and what it stands for,” said Mark Miner, Head of Maintenance for American Airlines. “We support a lot of the schools like this, it’s important to sustain the aviation industry. And we take that partnership seriously, not only for ourselves but also for the whole school.” 

Another feature of the new campus is the American Airlines community room. This meeting space holds approximately 100 people and AIM and American Airlines are making this room available to community groups to use, free of charge, for meetings or other gatherings. 

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