University of Iowa Approves 1,000-Bed Residence Hall

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Plans for an 800-bed residence hall approved by the University of Iowa Board of Regents in September 2014 were updated in February, increasing the building’s capacity to house more than 1,000 students. When completed, the 12-story, 303,000-square-foot building will be the largest student residence facility on campus.

Currently referred to as the Madison Street Residence Hall, the project is expected to cost $95 million with an estimated start date in September. Rather than a simple one-tower high rise, the facility will feature three nine-story towers on a three-story base. That base will sit above the 500-year flood zone on the site of a soon-to-be-demolished water plant.

The majority of rooms within the residence hall will be double occupancy, though some single occupancy rooms and three to four student rooms will be included. In addition to residences, the hall will offer study rooms, recreation and multipurpose spaces, kitchen and dining facilities, a fitness center and a laundry room. Pod-style bathrooms featuring several private, showers, sinks and toilets — a design already implemented in several other University of Iowa dormitories — will also be included.

Iowa City-based architecture firm Rohrbach Associates designed the new hall, which will serve first- and second-year students. Miron Construction of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded the $78 million construction contract in early 2015. The university will complete the project using the design-build method, allowing for completion within a smaller timeframe and a smaller budget.

Anticipating an increase of 500 additional students per year through 2019, the University of Iowa is also working to complete the new 501-bed, $53 million Mary Louise Petersen Hall, which will open in fall 2015. Petersen Hall is the first new residence hall built on the campus since the late 1960s and will replace the 358-bed Quadrangle Hall. Along with the nine other halls already on campus, these two new facilities will bring the campus’ housing capacity to well over 6,000.

“We’re very pleased to be able to move forward on these new projects,” said Tom Rocklin, UI vice president for student life, in a statement. “We anticipate we’ll remain working to accommodate large first-year classes, so this will help us meet student demand and continue offering the best possible living experience for our students.”