Augustana will break ground on $20-million student center

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

On Thursday, May 10, at 5:15 p.m., Augustana College will host a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the $20-million Center for Student Life that will be connected to the Thomas Tredway Library. The groundbreaking will be held on the west side of the library (3435 9½ Ave.).

The library will be re-energized with the addition of 35,000 square feet and two new functions—dining services and student activities—and the renovation of 39,000 square feet.

“This project will transform the Tredway Library by doubling its size and making it the true center of student learning for the Augustana community,” said President of the College Steve Bahls. “Once merely a repository for books, today’s academic libraries—the best of them, at least—are far more than that.”

President Bahls continued, “The Center for Student Life will be a place where students can fully engage in the learning process at all levels, with faculty, with technology and with their fellow students.”

Preliminary work inside the library began in March. Site work, including the removal of trees, begins May 21, and excavation is slated to start June 11. The project is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, 2013.

College officials estimate the construction of the Center for Student Life and the renovation of the library will provide jobs to approximately 875 trade workers and other professionals.

Augustana is partnering with both national and local firms on design and construction, including Quad Cities-based BLDD Architects and Russell Construction.

With the construction of a new Center for Student Life, combined with other construction and renovation projects, including the interior of  HYPERLINK "http://www.augustana.edu/x11135.xml" Old Main and  HYPERLINK "http://www.augustana.edu/x38891.xml" campus athletic facilities, Augustana officials estimate campus improvements could add up to $35 million in the next 18 months.

Features of the unified Center for Student Living and Thomas Tredway Library:

•  New, expanded spaces for the Reading/Writing Center and the library’s Special Collections

•  Green building features, earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification

•  Contemporary dining with multiple options, including “Marché (market) dining” stations, where diners choose their ingredients and watch a chef prepare their food

•  Private and group study rooms, adaptable multi-purpose rooms and digital game room

•  Expansion of Brew by the Slough coffee shop and deli, with expansive outdoor patio

•  Wireless data connection throughout the building

Additional information about the Center for Student Life is available online, or contact Keri Rursch, director of public relations, at  Hkerirursch@augustana.edu or (309) 794-7721.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers nearly 90 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 182 full-time faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.