Talk has been stirring up about the Quad Cities campus the past few months. What has the Riverside campus been up to lately with renovations? Quad Cities WIU campus has been undergoing a huge transition involving months of hard work and meticulous planning.
Chris Brown, Administrative Aide to Joseph Rives said Phase I “consisted of reusing the building that was on site from where John Deere used to be; [that is,] the John Deere Technology Center. What they did was they stripped it down and built a sustainable building around it.”
Joseph Rives, Vice President of Quad Cities, Planning and Technology explained further that John Deere gave WIU twenty acres of land, consisting of the building that was already there and has since been renovated and where Phase II and the rest of the campus will be built.
“Phase II is five interconnected buildings,” Dr. Rives explained, “The Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Services, Fine Arts and Communication, and WQPT.” WQPT is the Quad Cities PBS public television station, which serves Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and is now part of Western Illinois University.
Several notable figures were in attendance for the August 29th groundbreaking; such as, Governor Patrick Quinn, Representative Kirk, Senator Durban, Western Illinois President Jack Thomas, and members of the WIU Board of Trustees, and many others.
I asked Brown about how everyone is responding to the changes occurring at the Quad Cities campus. She replied, “Enrollment is up; the community is very excited. We are very excited about Phase II coming. We are starting to build up the community and college-based atmosphere.”
I asked Dr. Rives about what he expects to change about enrollment, and he said there is “nothing but room to grow.” He went on further to explain that the two Western campuses, in Macomb and in the Quad Cities, will gain more name recognition. Additionally, since there are only three public universities west of the Illinois River, great things are expected to come.
Construction for Riverside campus will start early this fall.