Board of Regents approve wrestling training facility, State Hygienic Laboratory project, among others

The state Board of Regents approved four proposed University of Iowa capital improvement projects including the Iowa Wrestling Training Facility and a State Hygienic Laboratory addition along with two projects at UI Hospitals and Clinics.


Grace Smith

Board member David Barker asks a question to a speaker during the state of Iowa Board of Regents meeting in Reiman Ballroom at the Alumni Center in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

Kate Perez, News reporter

The state Board of Regents approved the construction of the new Iowa Wrestling Training Facility, an addition to the State Hygienic Laboratory, and two projects at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

The schematic designs, project descriptions, and budgets for the Iowa Wrestling Training Facility and the State Hygienic Laboratory addition were examined and approved by the regents. 

Two projects for UIHC regarding bridge windows and use of the Construction Manager at Risk project delivery method in replacing the windows were additionally approved.

The first proposed project, the Iowa Wrestling Training Facility, is a new 38,500-square-foot, two-level wrestling practice and operations facility directly connected to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where men’s and women’s intercollegiate wrestling matches would take place. The arena will cost an estimated $26,500,000 and would be funded by Iowa Athletics Department gifts.

“We’re very proud of the efforts that have come together for this project and the Carver Circle Campaign, which has gone above the target anticipated for fundraising,” said Rod Lehnertz, UI senior vice president for finance and operations. 

The project will modernize a space that has not been monetized for the UI wrestling program, Lehnertz said. The UI plans to begin construction on this facility in summer 2022. It is estimated to be a two year project completed in April 2024.

State Hygienic Laboratory addition

The second project is a 7,330-square-foot, two-level addition to the State Hygienic Laboratory. The project cost is estimated at $10,000,000 and would be fully funded by federal grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This is a much needed addition to our facility, the testing throughout the state on behalf of a number of things, but as you can imagine … the importance related to COVID testing and continued COVID testing and readying ourselves for issues of testing needs for the state of Iowa,” Lehnertz said. 

The project would include the addition of adjacent support spaces to the second level, a new sample intake lab and lobby on the ground level, and a new mechanical penthouse atop the second story roof. Construction would include new walls, ceiling, lights, flooring, HVAC, power, and data.

The project construction is expected to begin in May 2022 and be completed by June 2023. 

UIHC bridge windows and implementation of the Construction Manager at Risk project delivery method

The third proposed project is the replacement of windows on the bridge connecting the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the John Pappajohn Pavilion. The project is estimated to cost $3.6 million and will be funded through University Hospital Building Usage Funds.

Lehnertz said problems with the current windows are possibly related to design flaws and product failures. 

“We have officials with UIHC and the university working with those responsible parties to make sure that what is put in from the replacement perspective is reliable and according to the specifications that we have for performance of the windows, but also looking for the causes and the responsibilities for reimbursement related to the previous windows,” he said. 

Construction is estimated to start in September 2022 because of long glass fabrication lead times and will be finished in June 2023. 

The fourth and final proposal the university presented was the employment of the Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) project delivery method for the Children’s Hospital window replacement project. 

Using this method will help the university with the complex process, as it will include early involvement by the contractor with the design consultants, Lehnertz said.

“Having a contractor not only engaged at the beginning but also responsible, as is implied by the name, by contract to deliver these methods according to the needs of the university and university hospitals and clinics is a benefit to this specific project,” he said.