DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University has sold its St. Vincent property to Assumption High School for construction of athletic facilities for the high school. The university posted a letter on its website March 31 announcing the sale.
Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, said in the statement to the St. Ambrose University community: “As you know, we spent more than four years working to create a plan to develop much needed athletics facilities at our St. Vincent’s Center (SVC) property. Throughout much of 2014, we worked diligently with the City of Davenport to have the site re-zoned via a Planned Institutional District (PID) process, but that effort was ultimately denied because of a veto by the mayor.
“Since we were not able to develop the SVC site, our Board of Trustees agreed that it would be best to find a way in which that property, with its long diocesan history, might still be of benefit to Catholic education in our Diocese.
“After careful review and deliberation, our Board of Trustees decided that would best be accomplished by selling the property. Given the proximity of that land to Assumption High School, another diocesan institution, our board wanted Assumption to have the first opportunity to purchase this property. As you might imagine, Assumption’s Board of Directors had to complete its own due diligence in this matter. Today, I am pleased to report that negotiations for that transaction have been successfully concluded, and we have sold the property to Assumption.
“Assumption High School will soon begin the process of working with the city to secure a building permit for its initial improvements to the property. Eventually, Assumption intends to develop athletics facilities to include two practice fields, a softball field, and a stadium.
“Assumption leadership has indicated that they will lease the facilities, as scheduling permits, to other Catholic institutions, including St. Ambrose University. Such an arrangement will be a significant help to St. Ambrose as we work to meet some of our needs for en-hanced athletics and recreational facilities.
“We have shared a strong history with Assumption High School since its founding. The missions of Assumption and St. Ambrose have much in common: most especially our commitment to Catholic education. These new agreements will serve each of our respective institutions well, and they herald the beginning of an exciting new era for Catholic education in the Quad Cities.”
“When the mayor vetoed the PID, we looked for the best use of the property to further Catholic education in the Quad Cities and this will help to do that,” said Mike Poster, vice president of finance for St. Ambrose University. “We’re very excited that the use of the property will not only benefit St. Ambrose University, but Assumption High School and the Catholic grade schools in Scott County.”
Assumption High School President Andy Craig said in a press release “Assumption has been keenly interested in new and expanded facilities for some time. This acquisition provides the ability to enhance educational experiences while building school spirit and a stronger sense of community. It also provides an opportunity for Assumption to expand and enhance our current grounds and facilities to be on par with other area high schools.
“We will file plans with the City of Davenport in the near future to secure building permits with the intent of starting work in the coming months. It is our hope to eventually develop what will become two practice fields, a softball field, a stadium with track, and additional parking.
“These will be Assumption High School facilities. Our students will use these facilities every school day … We will, however, lease or otherwise grant use of these facilities to other appropriate community organizations including but not limited to St. Ambrose University, Scott County Catholic grade schools, and programs such as Rising Knights and Future Lady Knights (as schedules permit).
“This is an exciting day for the entire Assumption Family.”