By Associated Press - Saturday, April 3, 2021

MOLINE, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Moline have been pursuing the possibility of bringing a University of Illinois school of engineering to riverfront land for at least six months, according to newly obtained records.

The city already has a college of engineering just a mile away - at Western Illinois University’s Quad-Cities riverfront campus. But Mayor Stephanie Acri recently accused WIU officials of “broken promises,” including low enrollment numbers that “have hurt Moline’s economy,” The Quad City Times reports .

The mayor and Quad Cities Chamber president and CEO Paul Rumler said they have spoken with other state universities about bringing their four-year programs to the Quad-Cities, but both declined to say who they were courting.

The Quad-City Times and Dispatch/Argus then filed an open records request and learned through it that the land that will be vacated by the demolition of an Interstate 74 bridge was being considered as a possible site for the University of Illinois program.

Kristen Ruby, a University of Illinois spokeswoman, provided no specifics.

“Our goal,” she said in a written statement, “is to support education and economic development where we can and to partner with other universities to expand opportunities across the Illinois Innovation Network.”

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