UI flood recovery continues


When the Iowa River flooded in 2008 at record levels, the damage hit more than 20 University of Iowa buildings.

As of April 30, the UI’s total expense for the flood has been $640 million. The UI has received $475.8 million in funding for reconstruction.     While much has been rebuilt, there is still a ways to go, and many buildings, such as the ground floor of the IMU, will open for the first time in seven years.


Since the ground floor of the IMU flooded, the 83,000-square-foot space that formerly housed a food court, student lounge, and performance areas has been closed to students.

The UI Hawk Shop and bookstore relocated to the Old Capitol Town Center, and many offices for student organizations moved to other parts of the IMU.

The final touches of renovation will not be finished until October.

Theater Building

The UI Theater Building will also be finished by this summer and be open by the time classes start in the fall.

The $6.5 million project will have better flood protection, a newly designed patio, a remodeled basement, and moving the building’s air-conditioning and electrical units from the basement to a newly designed third floor.

The area most heavily hit by the flood was the building’s basement, which was also heavily used prior to the flood. Since then, it has undergone extensive remodeling including adding better heating and air.

Many areas of the basement have been redesigned because of  construction codes, which have been adopted since the building’s original construction. These include sprinkler systems and handicap accessibility.

Hancher /Voxman Music Building

Another one of the flood’s casualties was the historic Hancher Auditorium, which was demolished following extensive flood damage.

Construction on the new $176 million Hancher began in June 2013 and is scheduled to finish in May 2016.

The facility, designed by Pelli Architects, will be 190,000 square feet, larger than the previous Hancher.

While the old auditorium seated 2,500 people as opposed to the new building’s 1,800, the backstage and stage areas will be larger, and the audience will be closer to the stage.

Construction of the new Voxman Music Building, located at the intersection of Burlington and Clinton Streets, is also underway and should be completed by September 2016.

It will be 90,000 square feet, the same as the previous building.

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