Notes about the public history of ASU's Polytechnic campus

With the beginning of World War II, a large tract of Arizona desert east of Phoenix was transformed into Williams Field by the United States Army Air Corps. Built to train pilots, the base remained open after World War II, and was in use continuously for more than 50 years. A 1991 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision slated Williams for closure in 1993. The airport facility was placed into service for general aviation as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, and most of the rest of the base facility was repurposed for higher education -- including the opening of ASU-East in 1996, which was renamed ASU Polytechnic in 2005.