Urban Campus one step closer to reality
June 28, 2016
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ Board of Trustees has taken the next big step in making Scott Community College’s Urban Campus a reality. At its June meeting, the trustees gave formal approval to the purchase of the First Midwest and First Federal Bank buildings in downtown Davenport.
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The approximately $50 million project enables EICC to create a full-service urban campus. The two buildings, located on the north half of East Third Street between Main and Brady Streets, will be completely remodeled inside and a third “connector” building will be added between the two. The college anticipates completion in late 2017 or early 2018.
“This is a rare instance when our commitment to the regional vision of developing, attracting and retaining talent meets with the unique opportunity to do so,” said EICC Chancellor Don Doucette. “We envision creating a stunning, purpose-built campus that attracts college students of all ages to high-quality, forward-looking programs located in a vibrant, modern downtown learning space.”
The campus will be approximately 70,000 square feet in size with capacity for 1,500 students. Plans call for 25 regular classrooms, seven computer labs, a science lab, a 2,000-square-foot convening and meeting space, and faculty and administrative offices.
The building will serve as hub for signature programs in Information Technology (IT) and Business including Associate in Applied Science degrees and industry certificates in network and infrastructure management, databases, website management, computer support and computer programming in the latest computer languages, as well as IT-related business programs such as project management, uses of social media, business analytics, entrepreneurship and small business start-ups. The college’s Administrative Office Support program, some college transfer classes, and many continuing education classes will also be at the campus.
The classes and offices currently at the college’s Kahl Educational Center, 326 West Third Street, and EICC’s Urban Campus, 306 West River Drive, will be relocated to the new downtown campus.
The historic Kahl building and Capitol Theatre, both owned by the college, will also take on new lives. The Kahl will be converted to a residential lifestyle property intended for students, and the beautiful Capitol Theatre will be restored to its original use as a movie theater.
“We view this project as the next logical step in the college’s commitment to the downtown area,” said EICC Board of Trustees Chair Bob Gallagher. “That is a commitment that traces back more than 30 years and includes such milestones as opening of the Urban Center on River Drive in the 1980s and, of course, the Kahl Educational Center in 1996.”
This initiative grew directly from EICC’s extensive strategic planning process in 2013, which included input garnered during 23 business, industry and community forums.
The project is financially structured to require no property tax increase for its construction and development.