Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ave Maria groundbreaking set for February 17th

According to this news story from today, the new AMU campus near Immokalee will open on schedule in the Fall of 2007. Two other things to note: Tom Monaghan is now openly referred to as the AMU chancellor, and Bowie Kuhn, newly appointed to AMSL's Board of Governors, is also an AMU trustee. I believe Kuhn was a good pick for the AMSL BoG, but like some others, did not realize that he had the potential conflict of interest by sitting on AMU's Board as well. We can only hope that he and other members of AMSL's BoG who sit on both boards will recuse themselves from any votes over moving the school to Florida.

Courtesy Southwest Florida News-Press

Gov. Bush to speak at Ave Maria groundbreaking
By Joan D. LaGuardia
Originally posted on January 19, 2006

Developers of Ave Maria University and the town that will be built with it will hold a celebratory, invitation-only ground breaking ceremony Friday, Feb. 17, Gov. Jeb. Bush will be among the speakers.

The Roman Catholic university, which will cost about $220 million to build, will sit on 750 acres about 5 miles south of Immokalee in east Collier County.

“We’re still scheduled for a fall of 2007 opening of the university, and we are shooting to open homes late spring and early summer of 2007,” said Blake Gable, spokesman for Ave Maria Development.

That Naples-based partnership between Barron Collier Companies and the Ave Maria Foundation is developing the university and its town.

The community, also called Ave Maria, will have as many as 11,000 houses and apartments when it is fully built..

Plans for the new university were first announced in November 2002 by Thomas Monaghan, a Catholic philanthropist whose wealth comes primarily from the $85 million sale of the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and the $1 billion sale of Domino’s Pizza in 1998.

He is the largest donor to the university foundation and is the university’s chancellor.

In the fall of 2003, the university opened an interim campus north of Naples in The Vineyards community. Its current enrollment is about 400.

The new campus will have a capacity of about 6,000 students.

Lay Roman Catholics have founded the university, and they run it.

Site work and construction of the main roads and water management system began in April of 2005, Gable said.

“Now we are at a point that enough of that work has been done, we are ready to get started with the vertical construction,” he said.
Building began in December on about 330,000 square feet of commercial space, including 70 condos that will be above retail and office businesses.

A groundbreaking set for Nov. 1 was cancelled and $50,000 budgeted for the event was given to the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee for Hurricane Wilma relief. The hurricane hit the area of the new campus on Oct. 24.

Gable said that was not the appropriate time to celebrate progress on the new campus and town center.

In addition to Bush and Monaghan, speakers at the Feb. 17 groundbreaking will include Lamar Gable, chairman of Barron Collier Companies and Bowie Kuhn, former commissioner of professional baseball and a university trustee.

Blake Gable said Naples Community Hospital, which wants to build a clinic in Ave Maria, is among the prospective tenants of the town center.

Leases are also being negotiated with a coffee shop, ice cream store, bike shop, bank and several restaurants.

Pulte Homes will be the primary builder for the first three neighborhoods aimed at active adults, family and a village community patterned after Village Walk of Bonita.

Ave Maria Development will develop affordable housing for low-income residents and the commercial properties.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

How come Judge Ryan resigned?

At 6:44 AM, Blogger ObjectiveObserver said...

Who says he resigned? He's still listed as being on the BoG at

At 7:22 AM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

"Reliable sources." If he's still on the list, my guess is that they haven't got around to changing it yet. I suggest anyone who's interested start asking questions. (Nicely.)

At 4:44 PM, Blogger origenreborn said...

how are you associated with ave maria etc.


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