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Hubbard closed for spring

BY CHRIS HIGGINS | MARCH 26, 2014 5:00 AM

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University of Iowa students have grown used to walking past a muddy Hubbard Park, waiting for the grassy field to return. However, they won’t be able to step past the sidewalk for the rest of the semester.

The park was closed last week until May 17, and all scheduled events at the park have been canceled.

Patricia Kruse, the associate director of IMU administration and operations, said the closure was to help facilitate flood-mitigation work.

“The construction on the park is taking a little bit longer than it was supposed to because of the extreme winter,” she said. “Also, they found the archaeological items, so then that held up the project. The construction was in fact supposed to be completed by now, and it’s still wrapping up.”

However, Kruse said, the park would probably have been closed without the construction delays.

“The other issue is just related to the park’s normal state of conditions because of the weather,” she said. “So, regardless of the construction, we probably would not be able to allow events in the park anyway.”

Kruse said organizers who schedule events at the park are aware it could be closed every spring and plan accordingly.

“There aren’t really that many things that were scheduled at the park, so we’re not really talking about lots and lots of activity here,” she said.

She said there is a possibility a section of the park will reopen before the end of the semester if the ground dries up enough.

Kruse said all events have been rescheduled to happen elsewhere.

Color Your Campus organizer Jared Satkoff said the event, which is scheduled for April 12, will not be affected negatively by the closure. With UI police, the organizers came up with an alternate start/finish point for the race.

Another event occurring that month will also be affected.

Melanie Hopkins, the program manager of Best Buddies Iowa, said the closure was “somewhat inconvenient,” but she doesn’t think it will cause too many issues for the organization’s Friendship Walk on April 26.

Although adjustments can be made with events, some students would have wanted Hubbard Park as the preferred location.

“It’ll be disappointing not to have a nice green park for us to hang out in,” said Deepti Sharma, a UI second-year medical student. “There are a lot of events there now that it’s nice out, and it would be nice to be able to use it again.”


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