University of Iowa takes on $56.2 million in campus, UIHC capital improvements

The state Board of Regents approved the use of $56.2 million by UIHC for renovations to be completed before 2025.


Matt Sindt

Closed off construction sites in the University of Iowa Hospital, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.

Emily Nyberg, News Reporter

The University of Iowa will work on five capital projects that will improve on-campus laborato­ries and replace hospital equipment and emergen­cy generators.

Rod Lehnertz, UI senior vice president for finance and operations, said at the Sept. 15 regents meeting that all projects combined will cost an estimated $56.2 million. The projects are set to be completed between 2023-25.

Medical Laboratories Building, Medical Research Center renovation to assist pediatrics department

The first project in­cludes renovations to the department of pediatrics’ medical laboratories at the UI Hospitals and Clin­ics. The renovations are budgeted for $6-7 million and will provide space for pediatric cancer and epi­lepsy research, Lehnertz said.

“It is primarily labo­ratory space, laborato­ry support space, some shared spaces between those departments, and the medical research cen­ter,” he said.

UIHC emergency genera­tor relocation

The second approved project involves phase two of relocating the UIHC emergency genera­tor out of the main hospi­tal. The project will also replace the five current generators that are out of date and require frequent maintenance. The gen­erator facility was con­structed during the first phase in 2016.

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“[The project] allows for emergency backup for the hospital, a best prac­tice model to make sure that your backup isn’t right where the concerns and emergencies might happen at an operat­ing hospital,” Lehnertz said. “We built the origi­nal building to be added onto, and this is part of a total of a four-phase growth plan.”

The project will cost $44.8 million and will be funded with the Universi­ty Hospitals Building Usage Fund.

Operating room renova­tion, HVAC updates

The third project will renovate UIHC operating Room 8 to accommodate new X-ray equipment, which will cost around $2.8 million. Lehnertz said the new equipment will maximize the room’s usage and will support a wider range of surgical procedures.

The fourth project will cost $4.5 million for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning modifications in the medical laboratories. The project will replace 500 outdated variable air volume controllers. Lehnertz said this will improve building efficiency and save energy.

“The project would be funded with our building renewal and deferred maintenance funds. This goes back to all of our efforts about making sure that the buildings we have, which are aging, can serve the functions that they host,” he said.

The fifth and final project will address the deferred maintenance in the advanced technology laboratory on the east side of campus. The maintenance will cost $4.1 million and include repairs both inside and outside the building, which was built in 1992, Lehnertz said.

“We are addressing  upper-level exterior fenestrations for the stainless-steel sheath building,” he said. “We were seeing weather impacts of that 30-year period [since the building was built] that were impacting interior surfaces of the building.”