University Renovations

St. Ambrose University Breaks Ground on $8M Renovation Project

St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, announced a renovation project recently that will transform the 105-year-old LeClaire Hall (the second-oldest building on campus) into the Higgins Hall for Innovation and Human-Centered Design. The near-complete interior renovations of the building will start in spring 2022 and are scheduled for completion by fall 2023. The university held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 7, for the project, which is estimated to cost about $8 million.

The renovation project was jump-started by a significant donation from SAU alumnus and trustee Tom Higgins, class of 1967. The building will feature five modernized classrooms and 20 administrative offices; it will also house the St. Ambrose School of Social Work, the Institute for Person-Centered Care (IPPC) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) program.

“What Tom is envisioning is how we more intentionally provide support services and a holistic experience for students in all disciplines on our campus,” said St. Ambrose President Amy Novak, EdD. “If we’re looking at the future of higher education, it rests with how we know a student best. Can we create a customized experience by recognizing their strengths, where they’re vulnerable, and understanding their learning style? Can we deliver a tailored learning experience?”

Higgins previously donated $1 million to the university for the creation of both the MPH and IPCC programs, both of which debuted in fall 2017. He has also provided funding that allowed the School of Social Work to add a Bachelor of Social Work degree to its repertoire.

According to local news reports, the university partnered with Studio 483 Architects for the new facility’s interior design, and Estes Construction will serve as the lead contractor.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].