New Pat Tillman Middle School set to open after COVID delay

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Pat Tillman Middle School finally happened Friday morning after a COVID delay.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 2:08 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Pat Tillman’s legacy will now live on at an elementary school. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Balsz School district’s newest school, the Pat Tillman Middle School, took place this morning. The event featured the unveiling of a mural by sports muralist Mike Sullivan.

“COVID delayed our celebration, but not our resolve or spirit, and only increased our passion for this remarkably innovative school and campus featuring a state-of-the-art classroom building that fosters learning and collaboration,” said Gail Knight, President, Balsz Governing Board.

The new school is named after Pat Tillman, an American War hero who died in Afghanistan in 2004. Tillman was a linebacker for Arizona State University and played safety for the Arizona Cardinals. He was in the NFL for four years before enlisting in the Army in May 2002 after the 9/11 attacks.

Tillman Middle School is located at 4309 E. Belleview Street just a few miles from ASU. It was a $16.9 million, 70,000 square-foot project that was funded through a voter-approved bond election. The school offers a range of programs including STEM curriculum, digital media arts, kinetics, and AVID.

“It is very thoughtful and gracious of Balsz Elementary School District and the community of Phoenix to name the middle school after Pat,” says Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother. “I believe, more importantly, that Pat would be pleased with the high level of resources, commitment and care being focused on students, teachers and staff.”