State Board of Regents approve request to move forward in planning the sale and construction of new dorm to replace Mayflower Residence Hall

The residence hall could be sold and closed by spring 2024 after being approved by the state Board of Regents at its meeting Wednesday.


Larry Phan

Mayflower Residence Hall is shown in Iowa City on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Kate Perez, News Editor

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

The University of Iowa can sell Mayflower Residence Hall and construct a new residence hall on the east side of campus after receiving approval from the state Board of Regents on Wednesday. 

Mayflower Residence Hall was first built in 1968 and became inhibited by UI students in 1982. 

The UI announced its plans to sell the building and build a new dorm with 250-400 beds on the east side of campus to house second, third, and fourth-year students in a university-owned location in a Iowa Now article on Feb. 14.   

Potential locations for the residence hall include: 

  • Behind Stanley and Currier Halls 
  • Next to Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity on North Clinton Street
  • The Recreation Center parking lot located on West Court Street 
  • The Hillcrest Parking Lot at the end of Byington Road 

Map by Jami Martin-Trainor/The Daily Iowan

The residence hall is expected to draw students to the main university campus and dining halls, the Iowa Now article states. The university received research and feedback from students about the current housing system, the article stated.

The Daily Iowan previously reached out to the UI on Jan. 30 about the future plans for Mayflower Hall and the construction of a new dorm. 

“The university is always proactively evaluating its housing and dining systems to best serve students who choose to live on campus,” Tricia Brown, senior director of internal communications and media relations, wrote in an email to the DI

Mayflower Residence Hall could close as early as the end of the spring 2024 semester, the article states, following the completion of current construction in Hillcrest Residence Hall. 

According to data gathered by the university, Mayflower Residence Hall is the last chosen and first transferred from residence hall for first-year students. 

Sarah Hansen, UI vice president for student life, said in the article that 89 percent of first-year students who live in residence halls stay for a second year compared to 82 percent who live off campus. 

First-year students who live in Mayflower also reportedly have lower grade point averages. 

“This five-year plan represents an efficient and effective use of our resources while improving outcomes for students,” Hansen said.

In recent years, Mayflower Residence Hall has received negative feedback in recent years. Most recently a UI student fell out of a window from the sixth floor, and the gas stoves within the hall sparked multiple evacuations

“Offering central campus dining encourages students to make connections and develop relationships with each other and decreases isolation, especially for first-year students,” Hansen said in the article. 

Selling Mayflower and the construction of a new dorm is part of the university’s Housing Master Plan. Other plans include the remodeling and modernizing of both Burge and Hillcrest Residence Hall.

Continued renovations to Burge and Hillcrest Residence Halls are expected to cost $5-10 million per project, and the construction of the new residence hall will cost an estimated $40-60 million. It will be funded by “potential Mayflower Residence Hall sale proceeds and borrowing.” 

A search for a buyer is in progress.

The sale of Mayflower will not “impact the University’s ability to house first-year incoming students,” the plan states.