Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
Web Tools and Search Bar
Quinn Announces Schedule for WIU-QC Riverfront Campus Building One
December 16, 2009
MOLINE, IL – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn visited the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities 60th Street campus in Moline today (Dec. 16) to announce the renovation of approximately 60,000-square-feet of space for the WIU-QC Riverfront campus. The funding is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, which was signed into law this summer by Gov. Quinn.
Quinn announced that bids for the renovation of Building One will be announced after the first of the year, followed by bond sales by the end of the first quarter. Groundbreaking for Building One is anticipated in March 2010.
"I'd like to thank Gov. Pat Quinn for supporting this important capital bill, which benefits the entire region. I want to express our great appreciation to the legislature and to the many individuals and organizations throughout the Quad Cities for their support of the WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus," said Western President Al Goldfarb.
Building One, the 60,000-square-foot former John Deere Tech Center, will support the College of Business and Technology, including the School of Engineering that is currently housed in The Caxton Building; academic and student services; and University administration. Building Two will allow for the continued growth of the Quad Cities campus and enable existing academic programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Services and Fine Arts and Communication to be part of the Riverfront Campus.
According to Joe Rives, vice president for the Quad Cities, planning and technology, the Riverfront Campus expansion will allow WIU-QC to further its mission as a comprehensive public university for the region by serving more than 3,000 Quad Cities-area students.
"Our new campus will provide an important boost to the regional economy by attracting and graduating students who will be well-positioned to thrive in our ultra-competitive, global economy," Rives added. "We are excited about the new jobs and economic development an expanded Western Illinois University will bring to the Quad Cities region. We look forward to completing the renovations of Building One and beginning operations on the Riverfront Campus."
The WIU-QC Riverfront Campus, which is located on 20 acres of land donated by Deere & Company, will focus on coursework in technology, business, health care and education, in addition to offering the MBA program and other programs that meet identified needs.
"Strong universities are vital to Illinois' students, families and workers," Quinn said. "Northwestern Illinois has long been underserved by our public university system. Thanks to Illinois Jobs Now!, we can fund projects like Western's Riverfront Campus that will bring jobs to the Quad Cities, strengthen our education system and revitalize our economy."
Western has conducted classes in the Quad Cities for nearly 50 years and serves more than 1,300 students at its current 60th Street campus in Moline and in rented space in other facilities. The current building was opened in 1997, and by 1998, the University was renting space to meet additional course demand.
"Without the initial donation of land from Deere & Company, and the subsequent generosity of the Moline Foundation and John Deere Foundation, this day would not be possible," Goldfarb added. "We will continue to be partners in the ongoing economic development of the Quad Cities, and we look forward to being a part of the Moline riverfront re-development initiative."
The City of Moline is also revitalizing the area surrounding the WIU-QC Riverfront Campus into an Urban Technology Corridor. Adjacent to the Riverfront Campus is a vacant industrial warehouse site and underutilized property that will be redeveloped into a Technology Transfer Center, which will be formed to advance local research into business development opportunities and other developments.
"The Riverfront Campus will enhance educational opportunities in the Quad Cities and will create precious construction jobs," said Jim Riemer, executive director of the Capital Development Board. "In addition, the building will be LEED Silver certified, which means it will incorporate some of the latest energy saving technologies. Education, jobs and energy savings – that's a winning combination."
To view architect's renderings of the proposed WIU-QC Riverfront Campus renovation, visit wiu.edu/qc/community/campus.php and wiu.edu/users/caitwp/planning/plan/riverfront/index.html.
Posted By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606