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Two flood projects near completion

BY EFE AYANRUOH | JANUARY 22, 2015 5:00 AM

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The flood-recovery projects for two University of Iowa buildings affected by the 2008 flood, the IMU and Mayflower Hall, are nearing completion.

The two buildings are part of the flood projects across campus and have been undergoing recovery for more than a year.

The Mayflower project will protect the building from future flooding by constructing a new concrete wall across in front of the entire building, said Rod Lehnertz, the head of Planning, Design, and Construction for UI Facilities Management. The project is scheduled for completion this spring.
The work at Mayflower has affected residents.

“Being a resident at Mayflower Hall from last year, there is a big difference,” said UI sophomore Nina Glover. “When I wake up, I’m waking up to the sound of construction. I understand it’s for the better, but it is really distracting, and people with the cars don’t have the space to park.”

The IMU flood recovery is a two-part project.

“The first part primarily involves repairing the inside of the building, specifically the ground floor, which is expected to be completed before May 2015,” Lehnertz said. “The second part focuses on creating a new permanent flood wall surrounding the entire building.”

The project is expected to be finished in July.

There was some flooding this past summer, but temporary flood-protection walls were installed, which delayed the IMU construction.

“The projects have gone pretty smoothly although the previous winter was hard on all outdoor construction projects,” Lehnertz said.

All the UI outdoor construction projects were affected by last winter’s extreme cold.

Because work on the new Hancher was affected by the extreme weather, “contractors worked a 24 hour shift to get the schedule back up,” Lehenrtz said.

“Every project has its challenges, but the contractors are doing a great job of meeting those challenges as they arise,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said. “For example, the brutal winter they endured last year did affect the schedule, but those delays have been overcome, and all projects are essentially on time and on budget.”

Projects, such as the Children’s Hospital, Hancher, the new music facility, and a new art building are scheduled for completion in 2016.

Hancher, the music building, and the art building are replacement projects.

A new dorm on the west side, Petersen Hall, will open in the fall semester.

“The UI has never done this much construction at one time and probably will never do this much construction at one time again, primarily because of the flood of 2008,” Lehnertz said. “And the message behind that is that it makes for a campus that can feel a bit impacted, and it is definitely harder to get around campus because of all the construction, but the result as we reach 2016 will be transformational.”


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