By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — With 53 working days from the close of the school year to students moving on to campus this month at St. Ambrose University, Jim Hannon and his maintenance department have their hands full. He is the director of physical plant at St. Ambrose who oversees work on the facilities owned by the university.
Although contractors are doing work on the new wellness and fitness center at the university, Hannon says he and his staff are doing plenty of work as well. Regarding the new facility, he said things are on track for completion next July. Occasional heavy rains have affected the project this summer, but construction is pretty much on course.
As people drive by they may think not much has been done, Hannon noted. That’s because most of the work has been underground. Utility work to move fiber, power and cable lines on campus was impacted by the discovery of a sanitary line that had not appeared on a map. It had to be moved. Previously completed storm water projects also had to be moved because of the new facility. Deep foundations have been poured.
“By late October or November you should see the facility enclosed so work can be done inside this winter,” Hannon said. Final finishes to the exterior will be completed in the spring and summer of 2017.
“Right now we are doing our best to keep the PE center and weight rooms open.” They were shut down for three weeks but are now open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center’s former main entrance has been stripped down to where it will attach to the new wellness center. Students now access the building from the east side. A temporary ramp has been installed for handicap accessibility.
On the main campus, new exterior lighting is being installed in many spots.
Tiedemann Hall got new carpeting in all the living rooms, the elevator was upgraded, and a fresh coat of paint was applied throughout the building. Resident assistants and athletes began moving in Aug. 10. The main student population moves in later this month.
In Cosgrove Hall, the Buzz student newspaper office was relocated to the lower level and has glass walls so people can look in to see production. A cyber lounge and information technology department work is being done in Cosgrove.
Hayes Hall will be the site for the new English language program that begins in January. Work will kick into full gear readying that program this fall. The Folwell Center for Political Science will move into the house located by the townhouses. The center includes a conference room. Other work on campus includes general painting, deep cleaning, checking windows and checking smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all dorms and the 36 houses the university owns.
At the St. Vincent Sports Complex on West Central Park that St. Ambrose and Assumption High School share, Hannon said his staff has provided support as needed. Assumption owns the sports facility