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