Helios Education Foundation breaks ground on 65,000-square foot campus

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(Source: Doug Ducey via Twitter) (Source: Doug Ducey via Twitter)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, along with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, helped break ground Wednesday on the new Helios Education Foundation campus.

It's no secret that Arizona's education system needs improvement. Helios Education Foundation strives to do just that by offering a variety of programs to help all students, "regardless of zip code," said Helios Board Chairman Vince Roig. 

"This will allow us, frankly, to be the rudder on the ship of education here in Arizona," Roig said.

[VIDEO: President Donald Trump directs Dept. of Education to expand access to STEM, computer science]

The 65,000-square foot Helios campus will host a large community space with room for gatherings, meetings and programs hosted by both Helios and their educational partners.

One such program is called College Knowing and Going, and helps high school students take the ACT exam, apply to colleges and apply for financial aid. Another program is aimed at teaching early childhood students how to read.

"Forty-four percent of our kids can't read at the third grade. This is very important," Roig said. 

[RELATED: Proposed desert education facility makes comeback]

Despite their many political disagreements, Governor Doug Ducey and Mayor Greg Stanton presented a united front on the topic of education by appearing together at the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning.

[READ MORE: AZ Teachers of the Year slam Gov. Ducey over voucher program]

The event included remarks by Ducey, Stanton and Roig, as well as Helios CEO Paul Luna and chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick. Renderings of the new buildings were also revealed.

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