Construction in full swing as fall comes to a close

It may be noisy and inconvenient, but construction on the Davenport campus is entering a very exciting stage. For the most part, the demolition is over and the construction is underway. We can see the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center take shape before our eyes!

It is a pleasure to share the progress with those that had such a huge role in planning and approving the projects. Palmer Board Chairman Trevor Ireland, D.C., was recently on campus and had a chance to see how far we’ve come since his last visit during Homecoming in August. He was impressed to see the strides we’ve made since then.

Dr. Trevor Ireland (left) with Dr. Dennis Marchiori at the athletic & recreation center construction site.

Dr. Trevor Ireland (left) with Dr. Dennis Marchiori at the athletic & recreation center construction site.

Construction on the north end of campus is coming along nicely, too. We’ve made steady progress on the retaining wall, and the tower is starting to take shape. If you haven’t been to campus recently, please stop by and see our progress. If you’re too far away to visit, click on the “construction webcam” button at the right to see our daily progress.

Progress on the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Progress on the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Great article on renovations and Dick Bittner sees our progress

In case you missed the wonderful article in the July 22 Quad-City Times on our northwest gateway renovations, I invite you to read it.

Deirdre Baker, education reporter for the paper, interviewed me, several architects and Mr. R. Richard (Dick) Bittner about our current projects, particularly the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center. He came to campus for his interview and I had the opportunity to give him a peek at our progress.

Special thanks to Dick Bittner for providing the signature gift that initiated this phase of campus improvements. I must admit it was a bit surreal to see these planned improvements underway and transforming the Palmer landscape we all knew, and to be side-by-side with the man who initiated our momentum.

Photo of Dr. Dennis Marchiori showing renovation work to Mr. R. Richard Bittner

Showing Dick Bittner progress on the transformation of the Alumni Auditorium into the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Dick Bittner in front of what will become the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center

Dick Bittner in front of the building that will be transformed and bear his name.

Construction in full swing in Davenport

Construction work on Alumni Auditorium.

Work continues on the Alumni Auditorium.

It’s so exciting to see the daily changes on the Davenport campus as we continue the north site and Alumni Auditorium construction projects. The photo shows demolition work on the Alumni Auditorium, which will be transformed into the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center by next January.

Click on the “Construction webcam” button at the top right-hand corner of this page  for live updates of the construction.

Davenport campus construction has begun!

Construction on the retaining wall next to the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library.

Construction on the retaining wall next to the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library.

Construction on the north site improvements to the Davenport campus is underway. The photo shows a view up Main Street of the demolition of the retaining wall that runs next to the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library and the employee parking lot. This week we’re scheduled to begin demolition in the Alumni Auditorium as well. I’m excited to have this work started and can’t wait to see the changes ahead!

Summer brings construction to the Davenport campus

Summer weather is here in the Quad Cities and that means construction is starting on the Davenport campus.

The koi fish were removed from the Clinic Garden ponds and taken to Niabi Zoo.

The koi fish were removed from the Clinic Garden ponds and taken to Niabi Zoo.

Our first step in preparing for renovations to the north end of the campus was to find new homes for the koi fish in the Clinic Garden ponds. We coordinated with staff at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Ill., to collect the larger fish for their ponds, and they retrieved about 500 fish. The remaining 300 or so smaller fish were collected and brought to farm ponds. Once the fish were re-homed we were able to prepare the ponds for the Clinic Garden renovation work to begin. We’ll be renovating the fountains and ponds and putting in new landscaping, but we’ll be sure to preserve the historic artifacts in this important greenspace.

Next we closed off the employee parking lot between the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library and the Alumni Auditorium to begin preparing the space for construction, which started this week. We’ll be creating a new, north entrance to the campus with terraces, a tower with the Palmer crest on it and a new retaining wall and parking lot.

Artist rendering of the new running track in the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Artist rendering of the new running track in the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Later this summer we’ll start work to completely renovate the Alumni Auditorium into the new R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center, which includes the Paul and Donna VanDuyne Jogging Track. This modern facility will include enhanced aerobic and weight room facilities along with the second-floor track, and will be connected to B.J. Palmer Hall with an indoor walkway. While the Alumni Auditorium/Fitness Center is closed for renovations, we’ve partnered with the Scott County Family YMCA on a temporary membership agreement for our students and employees at deeply discounted rates.

I encourage you to visit the Davenport campus to see these changes in person. Homecoming is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Palmer. Make plans for Homecoming in Davenport Aug. 11-13. I hope to see you there!

Spring brings exciting changes to Palmer campuses

Architectural rendering of the track in the Athletic & Recreation Center.

Architectural rendering of the track in the Athletic & Recreation Center.

Spring is here, and on Palmer’s Davenport campus that means we can begin reinvigorating our campus to better meet the needs of our current students, our future students and our alumni and friends who visit. I think everyone will agree our first step in this process, scheduled to begin in June, is very exciting. We’re about to launch significant improvements to the north end of our campus, including completely remodeling the old Alumni Auditorium into a first-class Athletic & Recreation Center. Our plans will create a fully modern recreation facility—including the addition of a running track, enhanced aerobic facilities, fitness rooms, and plenty of free weights and machines—all essential for creating the best possible campus experience and supporting the healthy lifestyle of today’s students and employees.

An architectural rendering of the Clinic Garden.

An architectural rendering of the Clinic Garden.

The historic Clinic Garden will be enhanced with new landscaping, restored fountains and a clearer view of this beautiful space from Brady Street, all the while preserving the garden’s historic artifacts that make this space so special to our Palmer community. A skywalk access will connect B.J. Palmer Hall (near P206) to an enclosed courtyard between the hall and the new Athletic & Recreation Center. And we’ll create a new main entrance to the campus on the north end, complete with a stone wall and 30-foot monument with the Palmer crest.

One of the new Anatomage tables on the Port Orange campus.

One of the new Anatomage tables on the Port Orange campus.

To enhance student learning on our Port Orange campus, we’ve added two life-sized, 3-D virtual dissection tables with fully interactive, multi-touch screens to the technological resources in our newly remodeled David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library. These new Anatomage tables make it possible to virtually “slice” through all layers of the human body and even view the body in X-ray mode. Faculty and students are currently being trained in how to make the best use of this incredible new anatomy technology, with plans to expand these units to other Palmer campuses.

Solar panels on the San Jose campus.

Solar panels on the San Jose campus.

Palmer’s commitment to the environment is evidenced on our San Jose campus, which now features rooftop solar panels. These panels will allow the building to operate at optimal efficiency while reducing dependency on standard electricity. The conversion to solar as the campus’s primary source of power is scheduled to begin by late March or early April.

I encourage you to visit our campuses to see these changes in person. Homecoming is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Palmer. Make plans for Homecoming in San Jose April 29-May 1, or our Davenport Homecoming event Aug. 11-13.