University of Iowa to Debut Several Projects After 2008 Flood

IOWA CITY, Iowa — This year, the University of Iowa (UI) will finally cap years of construction work on several major projects, three of which are valued at $400 million and were funded by FEMA to replace buildings destroyed by the 2008 flood. The three projects are slated for completion mid-year and include the Hancher Auditorium, the Art Building and the Voxman Music Building.

Construction on the $176 million Hancher Auditorium, located on the university’s Arts Campus, should wrap up this spring. Soft-opening events are planned for this summer before the curtain officially rises on the 2016-17 inaugural season this fall. Exterior work on the building is about 95 percent complete, with 14,000 brushed steel panels all in place, reported Iowa City Press-Citizen. The 191,977-square-foot building’s interior, however, is about 85 percent complete. Minneapolis-headquartered M.A. Mortenson Company is serving as the construction manager on the project, while New Haven, Conn.-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based OPN Architects are serving as the architects.

The approximately 1,800-seat auditorium is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. Not only will it feature a multipurpose theater and front-of-house and back-of-house support spaces, it will also include rehearsal room, administrative offices and School of Music program space such as a scene shop, costume shop, recording studio and performing arts production offices, according to the university’s online project information.

The $77 million Art Building, also located on the university’s Arts Campus, should also be ready in time for classes in August 2016. The 126,597-square-foot Art Building will replace the former complex, and is nearly 600 square feet larger than the original in order to account for updated code requirements. The new building will feature art studio spaces, which are currently being housed in a former Menards retail building. Natural light will be incorporated into the four-plus-story structure, which is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Miron Construction is serving as the construction manager, while New York-based Steven Holl Architects and Des Moines, Iowa-based BNIM Architects are serving as the architects.

Located on the university’s South Campus, the $152 million Voxman Music Building is being built for the School of Music. It will include classrooms, teaching studios, a library, faculty and administrative offices, recital spaces and the replacement of a 700-seat recital and organ hall. The two first floors of the six-story building feature concrete, while a steel structure makes up the remaining four stories. The 189,289-square-foot building is designed for LEED Silver certification. M.A. Mortenson Company is also serving as the construction manager on this project, while Seattle-based LMN Architects and locally based Neumann Monson PC are serving as the architects.

Another major construction project scheduled for completion in mid-2016 is the 14-story UI Children’s Hospital. Construction on the $292 million hospital began in April 2013 and also includes a $65 million parking structure. The project will include 480,000 square feet of new construction and 56,250 square feet of renovated existing space. The original hospital opened in 1919. Providence, R.I.-headquartered Gilbane Building Company is working as construction manager on this project, while New York-based Norman Foster Partners, locally based Heery International and Atlanta-based Stanley Beaman & Sears Architecture and Interiors are working as the architects.