Campus still recovering from 2008 flood
A record-breaking flood devastated more than one-sixth of the University of Iowa campus in June 2008. Numerous buildings were evacuated and damaged beyond repair, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Four years later, UI officials continue to work to rebuild the campus and return it to pre-flood condition.
Cost of the damage
According to state Board of Regents reports, the UI has spent a total of more than $229 million in flood expenses as of March 31. Officials have estimated the entire recovery process will cost around $743 million.
Officials said 2.8 million square feet of campus was affected when the Iowa River crested. Half that space was back in service 60 days later due to help from the community and UI students and staff.
However, parts of the campus are still affected and officials have estimated flood recovery — including planning, contracting, and building — will continue over the next five to 10 years.
In addition to paying for recovery, officials are taking steps to prevent further flood damage by moving essential Power Plant equipment to higher elevation, protecting pipes, and reinforcing concrete bulkheads and doors installed at tunnel entrances to provide two-way flood protection between buildings and the tunnels.
A few campus buildings and areas remain closed after the flood including Hancher Auditorium, the IMU basement, and the Voxmann/Clapp Music Building.
Though UI officials continue to work through many details with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Iowa Homeland Security, they are moving ahead with the design of several flood damaged buildings.
Students and faculty moved back into Art Building West in December 2011. The $11 million renovation took more than a year to complete. During that time, art and art-history classes were spread widely across campus, with many held in Van Allen and the Studio Arts Building, on Highway 1 West.
Officials have flood-recovery planning in the works for the new Hancher Auditorium, the new music facility, the Art Building, and the IMU.
Art Building East will be demolished, and a new facility will be built on the west campus, with a slated completion date of August 2013.
Hancher Auditorium/ Voxmann/Clapp Music Building is set to be demolished within the next few months. The new Hancher will be located across from the Levitt Center, set to be completed December 2015. The new music building, at the intersection of Clinton and Burlington Streets, is set to be completed August 2016.
In May, FEMA denied the UI's second appeal for funding to replace the Art Museum. Despite the setback, state and university officials are still looking for other ways to receive mitigation from the agency.
UI officials said they hope to repair the campus to a state better than before the flood.
Although there are numerous construction projects in the next few years, UI President Sally Mason told The Daily Iowan in May that it's something students — especially incoming freshmen — should look forward to.
"I think students that come in the fall, by the time they graduate in four years from now, this campus will look a lot different," Mason said. "In the meantime, they're going to have to put up with some detours, road construction, building construction, and all the things that go into putting this campus back together again."
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