By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — With only 58 working days from the end of one school year to the start of the next one, Jim Hannon has had his hands full. The director of physical plant at St. Ambrose University oversees work on the facilities owned by the university.
One of the highlights of the summer break is the new admissions office, also called the Welcome Center, located in the former Eye Care Pavilion at the corner of Harrison and Locust streets in Davenport. Once the eye care business relocated, renovation began inside and out on the property, Hannon said. The project included demolition of a house along Locust Street that came with the facility.
Ninety-five percent of the interior renovation had been completed by the first week of August while about 50 percent of the outside work was finished. Concrete work for parking was completed, but a monument sign, fencing and other items were yet to be installed. Part of the delay involved waiting for final approvals of site work, he said.
Elsewhere on campus, Hannon said the lower level of Hayes Hall was remodeled for the engineering department. Deep cleaning and repairs were made to 44 houses owned by the university. The 24-hour computer lab in Cosgrove Hall was remodeled.
Ambrose Hall now has a new “Bee Central” which houses remodeled and relocated offices that serve as a one-stop shop for financial aid, records, registration and student accounts. It is located on the first floor in the former financial aid office. A kiosk allows walk-ins to sign up for an appointment. Appointments also can be made online or by calling. Students receive text alerts when it’s time to head over.
North of campus along Brady Street, the St. Ambrose Dome is not fully operational yet. On Feb. 1 the dome collapsed under the weight of snow. Hannon said he was on site, but outside with his staff, removing snow on ground level when the dome collapsed.
The dome sustained tears in the membrane, which meant it wasn’t going to be a fast fix. It took until April for the dome to be re-inflated. Then mold was discovered. “We had all the contaminated materials removed and cleaned,” Hannon said. An industrial hygienist is looking at the inside membrane to see what needs to be done before athletes are allowed inside.
Last summer the process of adding card swipe machines to all dorms began. That project was completed this summer. Testing of sprinklers and other safety equipment were completed as well. “It takes time to do all the behind-the-scenes stuff too,” he said.
Move-in day is Aug. 23 and classes begin Aug. 26.