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In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 16, 1912.
[Soon after celebrating Chandler's Centennial on May 17, 2012, Chandler Museum staff discovered that the City celebrated the wrong date. In May 1912, the Chandler Arizonan newspaper had erroneously published the founding day as May 17, and through the years residents had misremembered the correct date, which was Thursday, May 16, 1912.]
The original townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, which also had the first grass golf course in the state. Chandler High School was established in 1914. Chandler incorporated on Feb. 16, 1920, after 186 residents petitioned the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to approve incorporation. Town founder, Dr. A.J. Chandler, was chosen as the president of the first Town Council and the town's first mayor.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (though the Depression was to blame for the cancellation of a second San Marcos hotel), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Since the early 1990s, the City of Chandler has experienced exponential growth, ranking among the fastest-growing municipalities in the country. Nearly 100,000 homes dot the landscape today and the population has surged to more than 238,000 residents as of 2010. The heart of Chandler remains its revitalized historic downtown, which includes the award-winning Chandler City Hall and the Chandler Center for the Arts. In 2010, Chandler was named as an All-America City by the National Civic League. Chandler was the only Arizona winner for the 61st annual awards. In 2012, the city celebrated its 100th birthday. Centennial events were planned throughout the year.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Chandler has a total area of 58.0 square miles (150 km2), of which 57.9 square miles (150 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.17%) is water.
Chandler has reached its physical limits save for some remaining county islands and cannot expand outward anymore due to being bound in by the Gila River Indian Community, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Phoenix.
As of the Census of 2010, there were 236,123 people, 86,924 households, and 60,212 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 73.3% White, 4.8% Black or African American, 1.5% Native American, 8.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 8.3% of other races. 21.9% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 62,377 households, out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. Of all households 19.3% were made up of individuals, and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 38.0% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.9 males.
There are 101,229 Housing Units as of May 2016. The median income for a household in the city was $70,456, and the median income for a family was $81,720. Males had a median income of $44,578 versus $31,763 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,904. About 4.6% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Computer chip manufacturer Intel has an influential role in city growth strategies with four locations in the municipal area, including its first factory to be designated "environmentally sustainable" under current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. Other high-technology manufacturing firms have partnerships with the local government, their operations employing approximately twenty-five percent of non-government workers in 2007. Although per capita employment growth in the sector has been in decline in Arizona since 2000, semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing was largely unaffected; a series of customized grants for the training of net new employees, incorporating the Phoenix urbanized area (twenty-seven thousand workers now commute to work in other communities), resulted in a larger market share of (Californian) industry.
Since 2003, more than 2,900 jobs and investments totalling $3 billion have been created along the Price and Santan freeways, between Arizona Avenue and Gilbert Road in the so-called South Arizona Avenue Corridor. Three shopping malls provide a "strong attraction" to such an open-ended, high exposure trade area: the 1,300,000-square-foot (120,000 m2) Chandler Fashion Center, opened in 2001, has spurred on several courts and laneway developments. In the southern end of the Corridor, Wal-Mart is expected to draw business from as far south as Hunt Highway, bringing with it a "large consumer population" which will improve "the image and perception of the area" in the mindset of many Greater Phoenix residents and state commercial retailers. The northern portion is "attractive and possesses the historic character" for success, which "can be grown to the south".
Companies headquartered in Chandler include Infusionsoft, Microchip, and Rogers. Bashas' headquarters is located in a county island surrounded by Chandler.
Chandler is noted for its annual Ostrich Festival. Initially, agriculture was the primary business in Chandler, based on cotton, corn, and alfalfa. During the 1910s, there were ostrich farms in the area, catering to the demand for plumes used in women's hats of the era. This demand ebbed with the increasing popularity of the automobile, but the legacy of the ostrich farms would be commemorated by the Ostrich Festival. The Chandler Center for the Arts, a 1,500-seat regional performing arts venue and the Vision Gallery, a non-profit fine arts gallery representing over 300 regional artists in the Chandler Arizona area are located downtown, and the Arizona Railway Museum is at Tumbleweed Park. A 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) Holocaust and Tolerance Museum has been slated for construction in Chandler.
There are numerous properties in the town of Chandler which are considered to be historical and have been included either in the National Register of Historic Places or listed as such by the Chandler Historical Society. The Historic McCullough-Price House, a 1938 Pueblo Revival-style home, was donated to the city by the Price-Propstra family in 2001. The city renovated and opened it to the public in 2007. On June 12, 2009, the McCullough-Price House was added to the National Register of Historic Places, the official listing of America's historic and cultural resources worthy of preservation. The city of Chandler operates the facility, which is located southwest of Chandler Fashion Center at 300 S. Chandler Village Dr.
Parks and recreation
Lake at Village of Gila Springs subdivision, Chandler
On May 18, 2016, a national nonprofit parks and recreation advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., announced that Chandler was a 2016 Playful City USA community, marking the tenth consecutive year the city earned the distinction (one of just 12 founding U.S. cities to receive the honor for the tenth consecutive year since the program was initiated in 2007). Chandler was recognized for taking an innovative approach to making play a priority throughout the city with its many recreational amenities, parks and aquatic centers.
Community Services Department
The Chandler Community Services Department serves residents and visitors in a variety of ways by providing recreation, fitness, cultural, artistic and educational opportunities along with classes, programs and special events. The Community Services Department, located in Old Downtown Chandler, operates the community center, senior center, dozens of local neighborhood and community parks, two recreation centers and six aquatic centers.
Chandler's recreational offerings provide residents and visitors of all ages, interests and abilities with the facilities to participate in many sports, activities and special events. The Department publishes a quarterly recreation magazine called Break Time that is distributed free at many City facilities and through a free subscription service to residents.
A sampling of programs available through the Community Services Department and its Parks and Recreation Divisions includes: swim lessons; junior tennis clinics and leagues; youth classes and programs; youth sports; after-school teen programs; summer youth sports camps and arts camps; fitness classes; group aerobics and dance classes; nature and sustainable living courses; adult classes, sports leagues and outdoor recreation programs; active adult activities; therapeutic recreation special events and Special Olympics fundraising programs.
Chandler's regional Tumbleweed Park hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including the annual Ostrich Festival, the Fourth of July Fireworks Festival and the sixth annual Day of Play, attended by more than 5,000 people, was held on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Tumbleweed Park.
On September 6, 2008, the Environmental Education Center at Veterans Oasis Park, a shared-use site with the Municipal Utilities Division and the Chandler Police Department, won the Valley Forward Association's prestigious Crescordia Environmental Excellence Award in the category of "Site Development and Landscape for Parks." In 2008, Chandler also received the American Crown Community Award for Outstanding Leadership in Local Government for Veterans Oasis Park, located at the northwest corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads. This facility and park were an integral part of Chandler's 2010 All-America City award presentation. The city was one of 10 across the U.S. to receive the All-America City honor on June 18, 2010, in Kansas City, Missouri. Veterans Oasis Park is also the site of the city's highest point, at 1,311 feet (400 m).
On August 28, 2009, Chandler's Community Services Department received three Arizona Parks & Recreation Association (APRA) Awards: Outstanding Facility – Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center; Outstanding Community Special Event – Woofstock; and Outstanding Active Adult Program – (Chandler Senior Center Patriot Project).
On September 25, 2009, the Chandler Parks Division was honored for its efforts to preserve more than 250 native trees by transplanting and using them for multiple park beautification efforts. The Arizona Community Tree Council, Inc., in cooperation with the Arizona State Land Department – Urban & Community Forestry, presented Chandler with its top award in the Municipal Government Agencies category at its annual meeting in September. The Council recognized 18 other individual, civic, and corporate entities for their efforts to enhance and beautify the local environment with trees. The ACTC noted that Chandler was creative and resourceful in transplanting native trees during the construction and grading for the first phase of Mesquite Groves Park and Aquatic Center.
On September 2, 2010, the Chandler Parks Division received the Natural Resources Award from the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association for the development of Paseo Vista Recreation Area on top of a closed landfill at the northwest corner of McQueen and Ocotillo roads. On October 2, 2010, the Paso Vista project also received the prestigious Crescordia Environmental Excellence Award from the Valley Forward Association.
On September 23, 2011, Chandler's Channel 11 and Chandler Recreation received a second-place finish in the 2011 NATOA (National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Government Programming Awards NATOA in the magazine format series category for the bi-monthly "Come Out & Play Chandler!" show's January episode that profiled the November 2010 inaugural Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off event at Tumbleweed Ranch.
On October 12, 2011, Chandler was named one of the 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People, marking the fifth time that the city received this designation by the America's Promise Alliance and Ing. The award program honors communities across America for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people. Chandler was recognized for its collaborative efforts between the city, schools, non-profit organizations and community members. Programs such as ICAN, the Mayor's Youth Commission, Chandler CARE Center and the Youth Enhancement Program are just some of the highlights of Chandler's success.
Kevin Hartke presenting the State of the City in 2020.
Chandler is represented by a mayor, a vice mayor and five city council members. The vice mayor is elected by the city council from among its members. The mayor, vice mayor and council members represent the entire city and are not elected from districts or wards.
Mayor: Kevin Hartke
Vice Mayor: Renee Lopez
Elementary and secondary
Chandler High School. Built 1921
Most of Chandler is served by the Chandler Unified School District. Chandler west of Loop 101 is served by the Kyrene Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District. The area east of Loop 101 and north of Warner Road is served by Mesa Public Schools. The San Vincente neighborhood in Chandler is served by Gilbert Public Schools.
Education alternatives include charter schools, Christian schools, parochial schools, magnet schools, as well as "traditional" academies. The leading charter schools in Chandler are BASIS Schools and Legacy Traditional School.
The two-year Chandler-Gilbert Community College, serving 13,000 students, is located in the east of the city near the Gilbert border. Private educational institutions Western International University and Apollo Group subsidiary University of Phoenix and have locations here. International Baptist College is located in Chandler. Arizona State University is located 14 miles (23 km) from downtown in Tempe. Ottawa University began offering adult education programs in Chandler in 1977. Chandler University opened in 2011.
Chandler Public Library
The Chandler Public Library serves Chandler and the greater Phoenix East Valley. The main library is located in downtown Chandler, with three branches located elsewhere in the city: Sunset, Basha (shared with Basha High School), and Hamilton (shared with Hamilton High School).
As part of a family literacy project to encourage literacy and library use among families who live in public housing, the Chandler Public Library visited four public housing locations to offer a four-week series of programs at each.
The Sunset branch's recently remodeled interior has transformed the community center into a bright place of reading and computer areas.
Radio and television licenses
Chandler has only one radio license: KMLE.
Most incorporated portions of Chandler, along with other East Valley cities Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe, have their own addressing system distinct from the city of Phoenix and Maricopa County. The north–south meridian is Arizona Avenue, also known as State Route 87. Commonwealth Avenue, two blocks south of Chandler Boulevard, is the east–west baseline. With the significant exception of the stretch of the city from Chandler Boulevard to Ray Road, address numbers follow in mile-long increments of 1000 along the grid. Modern remnants of county addressing (which corresponds to the city of Phoenix system) from the city's rural agrarian days can be found in some neighborhood street names (90th Place, 132nd Street) and county islands surrounded by the city proper.
Chandler Municipal Airport is a two-runway general aviation facility located in the heart of the city south of Loop 202. Gila River Memorial Airport in the Gila River Indian Community may serve the city in the future. In western Chandler, Stellar Airpark is a privately owned airport that is open to the public. The nearest commercial airport to downtown Chandler is Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport located roughly 10 miles (20 km) to the east, which offers service to 35 cities as of July 2015. For international and regional travel, most area residents continue to use Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, 20 miles (30 km) from downtown Chandler.
Chandler has very limited bus service compared with other Valley Metro cities of similar size; it currently ranks sixth in total ridership behind Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Glendale. Most local routes dead-end a few miles from the city or have further limited service within its borders. Currently, two express bus routes leave from the city near downtown, and a new park and ride facility was recently completed further south. Faced with increasing congestion, the land-locked city is pursuing transportation alternatives, including enhancement of the local bus system. This goal has partially been achieved through Proposition 400, which converts transit funding from city-based to county-based. The result has been increased frequencies on routes 72, 81, 96 (since July 28, 2008), 112, and 156, as well as Sunday bus service on the 72, 112, and 156. However, other routes have yet to be converted to "supergrid" status.
Main article: Metropolitan Phoenix Freeways
Chandler is served by three limited access highways:
Loop 202, the Santan Freeway, completed through the city in 2006, cuts through the midsection of the city along the Pecos Road alignment.
Loop 101, the Price Freeway, was completed in 2001, dividing West Chandler from the rest of the city. A majority of the city's employment, over 10,000 people as of 2007, are along the city's Price Road Corridor. Air Products' industrial pipelines located there are unique to the metropolitan area. South of Pecos, the freeway borders the Gila River Indian Community.
Interstate 10 is the city's westernmost border. Located on the other side is the Phoenix neighborhood of Ahwatukee.
Chandler is served by two single-track branch lines of the Union Pacific Railroad. One generally traverses the Kyrene Road alignment and currently dead-ends at the Lone Butte Industrial Park. The other runs east of Arizona Avenue and dead-ends near Sacaton, Arizona. Commuter rail service on these lines is under study as of 2007.
No light rail lines have been approved in the city, although high-capacity corridors including light rail have been identified in other regional and local plans. City officials joined the regional light rail authority, Valley Metro Rail, in 2007, expecting service perhaps in 2020. Potential high capacity transit corridors that have been identified in the past include Rural Road, Arizona Avenue, and Chandler Boulevard. The Chandler General Plan 2016 does not authorize light rail or any form of high capacity transit. A separate process for any consideration of light rail as the mode of transit may occur in the years to come. The language in the General Plan 2016 is to identify that options remain available in the future for the city as it continues analyzing transit within the high-capacity transit corridors.
Main article: List of people from Chandler, Arizona
Ryan Bader, an MMA fighter who is a resident
Cody Bellinger, MLB player for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Jakob Butturff, professional ten-pin bowler
Robert James Rallison, YouTube Animator
Chandler has two sister cities:
– Tullamore, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland – since 2008
– Tainan, Taiwan
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