St. Ambrose University Invests $27 Million To Expand - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

St. Ambrose University Invests $27 Million To Expand

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With many struggling to find funds and slashing budgets, one local university is investing in its campus and expanding.  

The $27 million project at St. Ambrose University will add 270 jobs to the community, and add a new residence hall, more parking, remodeled science labs, and expansion to campus dining, all by this fall.  

"This is a major improvement, before we were in this little tiny closet area," Senior Ethan Johnson says, "We were just all spread out through campus." 

Johnson works in the basement of the library. Last spring he and his coworkers got to move into a brand new set of office space. 

"It's really nice getting everyone back in one area," he says, "The new resource we have is so nice." 

The improvements at the library include office space and a new data center, which will now keep the campus IT systems cool with air conditioning and a new system to put out fires in case of emergency.  

"We had a couple instances last summer when we had some overheating," University Vice President of Finance Mike Poster says, "We generally have to shut the system down when that occurs and that happened a few times last summer." 

A new residence hall, extended dining hall, and added parking will be able to house 204 more students and 130 extra parking spots, making the campus more attractive to students both new and old.  

"I'm definitely looking forward to Cosgrove Hall's dining extension because there's not enough room in there as it is," Junior Emilee Renwick says. 

"This year we think enrollment will tick up slightly, we've seen enrollment declines over the last three to four years, but we actually think things are turning around," Poster says. 

The $27 million worth of improvements are paid for using bonds and funds in the annual budget, and it's all in an effort to make sure St. Ambrose and its facilities can keep up with the competition.  

"They're definitely interested in the housing, where they're going live, dining is important to them, they want to see classroom facilities, they want to make sure they're state of the art," Poster says of prospective students. 

"It really shows the campus really wants to help its students get the best, what the students really need," Johnson says. 

"It's definitely a good time to be on campus," Renwick adds. 

All the construction set to be done by August 1, right in time for the first day of classes.

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