CLINTON, Iowa, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- If you haven't seen the Ashford University campus lately, you haven't seen Ashford. There have been a myriad of new construction and improvement projects over the summer culminating with today's celebration and this evening's first game on the new soccer field.
"Since 2005, there has been more than $15 million invested in the campus," Dr. Jane McAuliffe, president of Ashford University, said. "We're welcoming our biggest on-campus class ever with new 'best in class' facilities."
The former 129-acre Clinton Country Club, purchased in December 2009, now sets the scene for Ashford University's new Athletic Complex, which includes the new soccer field as well as an outdoor track at 1650 S. 14th Street.
"Set in a scenic valley amidst rolling hills, our new soccer field is awe-inspiring with National Football League quality artificial green turf. There is a magnificent midfield Ashford University logo, a super-sized digital score board and dramatic stadium lighting," John Ballheim, Ashford University vice president and campus director, said. "Temporary bleachers currently seat 500. It's Clinton's own 'Field of Dreams.'"
Construction of the soccer field was done just in time for the first official game. Rubberized surfacing will be applied next week to complete the nine-lane track. Plans for the remaining acreage from the Clinton Country Club acquisition have not yet been announced.
In May 2010, Ashford University acquired the Clinton YMCA's Tennis Center, 315-321 Fourth Avenue South. Designed to meet United States Tennis Association specifications, the showcase facility came at an ideal time for the university.
Ashford introduces the men's and women's tennis programs this semester. Try-outs at the newly-named Ashford Indoor Tennis Center were held last week. The center is also being made available for community use.
In addition to athletic facilities, the Ashford University campus got a revamp. There has been extensive remodeling and renovation, including the kitchen and dining hall, the East Conference Room, St. Clare Hall restrooms, the library and Flavian Center. A new fire suppression system has also been installed in Durham Hall, one of the campus residence halls.
With the biggest incoming class in the university's 92-year history came the need for more student housing. The university leased a block of rooms at Clinton's Best Western Frontier Inn, 2300 Lincoln Way, and equipped them for residence hall living. The off-site student housing center operates like a traditional dormitory with accommodations for 160 students. Shuttle buses run continuously for up to 18 hours a day transporting students to-and-from the university.
"It was an innovative idea to accommodate the large influx of new students, primarily academic scholarship students," Ballheim said. "Ashford University has a historic ambience and a long legacy of providing students with a supportive living-learning community. The Best Western housing is a representation of our philosophy combined with creativity."
While final enrollment figures will not be available until the Sept. 3 census, enrollment is expected to reach approximately 750 full-time students, including approximately 430 new students.
"There's renewed excitement here," Ballheim said. "Students, faculty, administrators and the entire Clinton community have embraced our new programs, upgraded facilities, progress and positive energy."
"The word is out...and that word is 'Ashford,'" McAuliffe concluded.
About Ashford University
Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.
SOURCE Ashford University