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Power plant to be demolished to make way for new dorm

BY CHRIS HIGGINS | OCTOBER 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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The construction of one new residence hall at the University of Iowa is just beginning as another finishes up.

The state Board of Regents approved UI plans to demolish the old Iowa City water plant at a cost of $1 million to $1.5 million, which would be funded by treasurer’s temporary investments. Officials plan to construct a new dormitory in its place.

The Mary Louise Petersen Residence Hall on the West Side is due for completion in May 2015 at a cost of $53 million. It is designed to house 501 students.

These residence halls come at a time when university officials are hoping to increase recruitment and enrollment over the next few years.

UI resident applications for the 2015-16 academic year are up 11.25 percent compared with the same time last year.

The new hall would cost between $80 million and $90 million and contain between seven and 10 floors of rooms with 800 beds, one floor for common student space, and one floor devoted to maintenance.

It would be constructed at the north end of Madison Street, west of the North Campus parking ramp and down the hill from Burge.

The UI has owned the site since 2003.

University Business Manager David Kieft said city officials would be involved in the process.

Assistant to the City Manager Geoff Fruin said the city would mostly be involved in planning of the infrastructure. This will include details related to water and sewer mains.

“But the property is already under the control of the university, and they will handle the design and construction of the dormitory there,” Fruin said.

Although the new hall would be built near the river, the site is 2 feet higher than the 500-year flood level.

“Any new construction would be done in such a way that it would take that risk into account,” Joe Brennan, UI vice president of strategic communication, had previously told The Daily Iowan. “We certainly want the architectural planners to be mindful of the risk.”


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