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!

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.

The momentum is building

What a year it’s been at Palmer! Momentum is building on so many fronts – from enrollment to NBCE board scores to alumni involvement and facility enhancements. I want to use this blog to let you in on our progress. My hope is that you’ll check in on our projects regularly and feel part of our momentum.

I just finished a series of employee meetings on the Davenport campus. It was exciting for me to see our fantastic employees see the reported results on our enrollment trending up on all three campuses, about the important research with the Gallup organization and its key findings, about our incredibly high ranking for educational value in the April 2015 Brookings Institution report, about our CareerNetwork job postings for graduates … I could go on and on about the many positives, many of which are captured in our Annual Report and Insights. I’m so proud of our progress and of the people who make it possible.

Of course, it is not just our employees who move us forward, but our fantastic alumni! I was pleased to share the results of a survey of our alumni who’ve been in practice 15 years. An amazing 78 percent of them would choose chiropractic again (much higher than what is reported in other professions) and 77 percent of them would choose Palmer again. Ninety-one percent consider themselves “successful.” And so many alumni are ensuring the future success of Palmer and the chiropractic profession by referring students to Palmer. Thank you for your efforts in student recruitment, college support and service.

Finally, I want to let you know about our upcoming capital campaign to enhance facilities and the learning experience on the Davenport campus. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and I’ve included some architectural drawings of some of our plans. We’re in the “silent phase” of the campaign, and our plans include completely renovating the Alumni Auditorium/Fitness Center into a state-of-the-art athletic and recreation complex, complete with a running track and two-level free-weight area surrounded by windows. The northwest corner of campus also will be beautified with a terraced wall, trees, a monument and a walkway.

recreation facility plans

Architectural rendering of the north end of campus showing the campus recreation facility in the background.

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The inside of the recreation facility in an architectural rendering.

I can’t wait for all of this to begin. We hope to break ground on the recreation facility next spring and that’s only the start. It’s truly an exciting time to be at Palmer, and I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.