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UI grad apartments open

BY REBECCA MORIN | AUGUST 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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The University of Iowa’s Hawkeye Courts will be a thing of the past by mid-August.

Aspire at West Campus, the new apartments for UI graduate students and faculty, have been completed, and renters are moving into the new facility.

There are five residential buildings that comprise 250 apartments, and every bedroom — 440 of them — is leased for the year.

Von Stange, the UI senior director of Housing and Dining and assistant vice president for Student Life, said with Aspire now open, the university will close down all Hawkeye Court apartments.

“Our intent would be to demolish the buildings, but that would take contracting and board approval to do that,” Stange said. “We would still like to get the buildings taken down this fall.”

Stange said the rest of Hawkeye Court apartments will be empty by mid-August.

Amanda Ickowitz, the community manager at Aspire, said residents began moving in July 30. As of Monday, 75 percent of residents moved into the new facility.

By Aug. 10, she said, 100 percent of the residents will be moved in.

“We did the building in phases, so that helped a lot with traffic,” Ickowitz said. “The response has been great. Everyone had a 72-hour checklist to get it back to us if there was anything wrong with the apartment. That has been really minimal.”

In the complex, she said, a park pavilion, grilling areas, and a dog park will be “up-and-running” by September.

Although Stange said there is nothing official, he said the university is working with Balfour Beatty Communities, a Dallas-based company that partnered with the UI on the Aspire apartments, for a phase two of Aspire.

Phase two will be another set of apartments.

“Hawkeye Court is at the end of its useful life,” Stange said. “They were well-maintained as best as they could. They just were not meeting needs of our current population.”

The now defunct Hawkeye Court apartments would cost more to replace them, Stange said.

Because Aspire is on university property, university officials will provide campus security and police, as well as include a Cambus stop — which started on Monday.

“They’re clearly going to be different,” Stange said. “We do not manage it. Aspire will run it as it chooses to run it with a committee of Balfour Beatty officials and University of Iowa officials.”

Ian Armstrong, a UI graduate student in chemical engineering, said he thinks the new apartments are nice and he is excited to live there.

“It’s good with the Cambus,” he said. “It’s easy transportation and is pretty centrally located in regards to Coralville, and the mall, and the hospital, and everything.”

Another student echoed the same sentiment.

Pamela Imperiale-Hagerman, who recently enrolled in the Carver College of Medicine, said she moved into the apartments because the complex is close to the university and transportation is provided.

“I was moving here from California, and I didn’t know the area very well,” she said. “It sounded like a good opportunity. They’re brand-new apartments.”


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