Saint Ambrose University is preparing to celebrate the latest addition to its campus in Davenport. On Friday, it will hold a blessing, dedication, and ribbon-cutting for its 20 million dollar Wellness and Recreation Center.
During a press tour Wednesday, Vice-President for Finance Mike Poster said the new building, next to the old physical education center, will help the university compete for students with other colleges.
"It's had an impact on enrollment this fall - we've seen an uptick in enrollment. I think when prospective students come here, they can see we've got a space that they can - we've always had very good academic programs, we've had great housing, but I think the other question was what am I going to do when I'm not studying or in my dorm room, and now we've got a great answer for that."
The new center has a 56-thousand square foot fieldhouse with four basketball courts and a 200-meter indoor track, plus classrooms and weight rooms.
But what Poster really likes is "the view."
"So if you're lifting weights or on a cardio machine, you have great views of what's going on in the fieldhouse or you've got great views of the campus. We have a lot of glass in the structure which gives people the ability to see what's going in the building from the outside, but also when you're working out, you can look out and see those other things going on."
The need for the new wellness and recreation center was first identified by the Saint Ambrose Board of Trustees in 2011. Ground was broken in the spring of last year (2016). It first opened for students last month.
The Friday dedication ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m.