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.
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.
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.
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.
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!