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IMU back on the ground floor

BY BEN MARKS | JUNE 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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When floodwater destroyed the IMU ground floor in 2008, many of the shops and services it offered had to be scattered around campus and the once-popular student hangout and relaxation area was gone.

Now, however, with the reopening of the ground floor after seven years, those venues are back again in one location.

“On most college campuses, [a student union is] the hub of campus life; it’s the nexus of active, interesting campus programs and activities,” said IMU Director Bill Nelson. “It’s unfortunate for the students we’ve missed over the last seven years haven’t had a fully functioning college-union experience.”

Although the new floor is almost identical to the old one, because of the time, between its closing and reopening, many students are unaware of what exactly the ground floor has to offer. Below is a short list of exactly what the IMU has to offer to everyone from graduating seniors to incoming freshmen.

Iowa Hawk Shop

The Iowa Hawk Shop is the official retailer for Hawkeye apparel and supplies. After the flood, the shop was moved into retail space in the Old Capitol Town Center. However, the space was never ideal for the shop and was only intended to be temporary.

Now, however, the Hawk Shop is back in its space on the IMU ground floor. It sells not only Hawkeye-theme clothing, it is also one of two official university bookstores in which the majority of UI books are sold. The shop also sells computers, tablets, and other technology, as well as DVDs, sports gear, posters, toys, and games.

Tech Connection

The Tech Connection was previously located in a separate space in the Old Capitol Town Center; it is now occupies the same space as the Hawk Shop in the basement. The store provides for all the technology needs a student might have including computers, tablets, software, and accessories. 

Hills Bank

Previously located in the welcome center on the first floor of the IMU, Hills Bank is now located in the basement of the IMU. Hills can helps students set up checking accounts, manage money, and provide access to one of the 90 Hills Bank ATMs located throughout the area.

Union Station

One of the most popular destinations in the IMU, Union Station now sits in the basement; in addition to a large dining area, it sells a variety of foods, including chicken wings, soda, Godfather’s Pizza, Erbert and Gerbert sandwiches, and made-to-order sushi and wings. Unfortunately, however, flex swipes are not accepted.

Union Market

Formerly, Union Market was located in two renovated meeting rooms beside the River Room. Now, however, the store has its own space in the basement across from Union Station, and it sells everything essential to living in college such as soda, medicine, snacks, and ice cream.

ITC and study space

The newly opened IMU Instructtional Technology Center replaces several of the other ITCs scattered around the building. It is a quiet area featuring 20 computers and several printers. The basement also has many spaces and tables for studying and lounging.

Java Hawk

The Java Hawk is a small coffee kiosk currently located in the lobby on the first floor of the IMU. Although it will remain in that space until this fall, it will eventually have a space in the basement located near Union Station.

There is a downside — there are no windows. Don’t go to the IMU basement if you want a view. As part of flood-prevention measures, several windows had to be removed and no longer provide a view of the river. However, if you are set on gazing at the river and studying, head over to the soon-to-be finished IMU Pavilion.


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