PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - It was nine years in the making: the first phase of the Troy University's riverfront campus in Phenix City is complete, and it will bring along economic growth for the city.
Community leaders, governmental and school officials say the new campus will attract more businesses and redevelop Phenix City's riverfront into something more viable for the community.
The four story building overlooks the river close to the 14th Street pedestrian bridge.
"What we will see is the re-birth of Phenix City. What this building represents is Renaissance," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University.
Having the riverfront campus will bring in more traffic to an area that's already seen an increase in business in the last few years, most recently the food truck park, the Marriott Hotel and Whitewater Express.
"We had the remarkable experience in Montgomery in terms of being the anchor of what became the Renaissance of downtown Montgomery. We think this step in Phenix City will parallel the experience that we had there," said Hawkins.
Adjunct Professor Dr. Johnnie Robinson, Senior say the new campus is more accessible. He hopes tp see a more diverse student body, when he begins teaching his class on diversity.
"I know they are trying to target a multicultural millennial type inside our city. The city, all of us at the university are changing the cultural of what Phenix City has been known for," said Robinson.
Several dignitaries dedicated the building Friday. Shifting locations began as vision of the University and Phenix City officials in 2006.
"The city donated the land, the city donated $2 million. The university committed several million dollars and then we went to the private sector and today we have a new building of 50,000 square feet," said Dr. Hawkins.
The new location represents phase one of the two-phase riverfront building project. Eventually all academic programs will move in to the new location on Third Avenue. Fall classes start August 10.