UI faculty, students moving into Art Building West


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The anticipation of moving back into Art Building West has been building since Nov. 11 for Lynne Lanning.

That was when Lanning, an undergraduate adviser in the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, got her first glimpse of the renovated building during an open house.

"I think when people were able to stand in the building and see how beautiful it is, people were really excited to move back in," she said. "… the people from the Art History Department were very excited to see the space again."

Art Building West is slated to open for classes next month, and UI officials said they expect the move to run smoothly.

"Things have been moving along very nicely," said Eric Dean, an administrator with the UI Office of Visual Materials. "The contractor has been really good to work with."

Dean Dykstra, a UI Facilities Management construction project manager, said the official move-in process will be completed within the month.

"Move-in will begin next week," he said. "The library will be moved in first, and then faculty will move in after the first of the year."

But Dean said the move-in schedule is a bit more gradual.

"The building is actually not open yet for all of our faculty and staff to come back to," he said. "We hope that by Jan. 3, our faculty and staff will all be able to move back."

Dean also said there are several staff members who have already moved into the building to help with the transition.

"We have permission for a few of our staff to be over here," he said.

Dean said some staff and faculty will move in, allowing time to get situated and for adjustments to be made, before allowing more to unpack.

Lanning said the newly renovated Art Building West will house all art history and graphic-design classes, as well as some photography and painting classes.

"It's a beautiful area, and it's well-designed for their specific teaching," she said. "It's been very exciting."

The $11 million renovation — necessitated by damage caused by the 2008 flood — took more than a year to complete. During that time, art and art-history classes were spread widely across campus, with many held in Van Allen and the Studio Arts Building, on Highway 1 West.

The next project slated for completion in the flood recovery effort is the Theatre Building, to be completed in August 2013. Other flood-recovery projects include the Art Building, the IMU, Mayflower, a new Hancher, and a new music facility.

Lanning said for now, it's nice to have the award-winning Art Building West back.

"It's a beautiful area, and it's been something people have been excited to move into," she said. "The people who were in it before are very excited about being there again."

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