The University of Phoenix downtown campus is housed on the ground floor in the Bank of America Building.
The University of Phoenix downtown campus is housed on the ground floor in the Bank of America Building.

Moving downtown was a no-brainer for the University of Phoenix’s Greater Des Moines campus.

The for-profit university recently opened its new location on the first floor of the Bank of America Building, 317 Sixth Ave., replacing its old campus at 6600 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines.

“We’re so excited about the move downtown because we have over 70,000 professionals in the downtown area,” said Christine Williams, the school’s Iowa campus director. “And of those 70,000 professionals, they’re really our targeted audience.”

The move, which was made official with a ribbon cutting attended by Gov. Terry Branstad on Jan. 10, is part of a concerted effort to reach out to the business community downtown, she said. Officials have done that by making sure the public is aware of the campus, which is within walking distance of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

“And we’ve made all of the businesses of the Partnership very aware that we’re here as well, because many of them have employees who need to complete that bachelor’s degree or would like to move to the next level of their career and get their master’s degree,” Williams said. “So we’re making it very known to them that we are a solution for an adult learner.”

The campus now serves about 100 students who take a class one night a week, and the facility is open to students taking online-only classes. All on-campus degrees offered are in business and management.

A student resource center provides access to computers and offices for students to meet and work in. The campus also has three classrooms, which are designed to be “light, bright and open,” Williams said.

She hopes to grow the number of students enrolled in classes downtown, although she wouldn’t put an exact figure on the goal. However, if the university outgrows the 8,300-square-foot space, there is room to expand on the second floor of the building.

“We are definitely ingrained in the fabric of the revitalization of the downtown area,” Williams said.