UI proposes $4.7 million Burge Residence Hall renovations

The request for renovations will include student rooms, corridors, and stairwells on all five floors of the building.


Johnny Jarnagin

Burge Residence hall in Iowa City Iowa on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

Grace Katzer, News Reporter

The University of Iowa plans to renovate student rooms, corridors, and stairwells in Burge Residence Hall, pending approval from the state Board of Regents, according to the capital improvement business transactions report.

The UI will propose the $4.7 million budget for the renovations to the regents on Wednesday. The updates would take place over three years and would occur on each of the residence hall’s floors.

The project would include upgrading student rooms’ sheetrock, paint, vanities, fixtures, closet systems, windowsills, and window treatments. Renovation plans also include replacing finishes and fixtures in single-user restrooms, replacing furniture and flooring in the main lobby, and replacing stairwell finishes.

Burge Residence Hall was built in 1958 and cost $5.5 million — equivalent to roughly $56.5 million in 2022. It is the second largest residence hall on the east side of campus, housing 939 students.

Plans for the renovation project were kicked off in November  2021, and the timeline for the project has so far included:

Designing a selection and indefinite services agreement for lab design in November 2021.

A $36,100 collaborative agreement for schematic design in December 2021.

A $285,700 collaborative amendment for design development in April.

A $4.7 million budget request to the regents in November.

The $4.7 million budget breakdown consists of:

$608,300 for project planning, design, and management.

$3,686,684 for construction.

$39,116 for furniture and equipment.

$365,900 for contingency.

“[The] $4.7 million project budget would be funded by University Housing Renewal and Improvement funds generated from residence system room and board charges,” the report read.

According to the report, the renovations would be phased out over multiple years to prevent disruptions to students. The schedule is planned for the summers of 2023, 2024, and 2025.

“This project is consistent with the university’s goal to re-invest wisely in existing facilities in order to extend their life and provide a high-quality student experience,” the report read.

In the past, the UI prioritized campus buildings renovations through presentations to the property and facilities committee at the regents’ meetings.

The UI renovated the interior of Burge Market Place, including food stations and its signage in 2019.

UI Senior Vice President for finance and operations Rod Lehnertz presented at the Sept. 14 regents meeting, detailing the importance of upkeep and care for campus buildings.

Lehnertz said the university must meet the modern age needs of students, but doing so can be a challenge.

“Buildings that are built to last still have a scale of time for renewal for how we change the way we use those buildings, the systems within those buildings, [and] the surfaces that protect the buildings from the elements have to be updated,” he said.

The UI will present the proposal to the Iowa state Board of Regents for approval at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs on Nov. 9.

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