UI receives approval for tornado damage repair emergency contract

The approval comes after a March 31 tornado damaged an IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering building belonging to the UI’s College of Engineering.


Ayrton Breckenridge

A damaged house is seen at the corner of Old Oak Ridge and Highway F62 in Hills, Iowa on Saturday, April 1, 2023 after a tornado went through parts of the town on Friday. The tornado impacted a new development in the city of 902 people.

Kate Perez, News Editor

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The University of Iowa received the state Board of Regents’s approval to start renovating a university building in Coralville that was damaged by a tornado in March.

The request, which was passed by the regents Thursday, ratified regents Executive Director Mark Braun’s emergency contracting authorization regarding tornado damage repair. 

The emergency contract surrounds damage sustained in Coralville on March 31. The UI College of Engineering Hydroscience and Engineering buildings were included in the damage, which is along 2421 James St. 

Repairs will include replacing one large metal building, including its HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and specialized research equipment and complex river modeling systems, according to documents from the regents’ Property and Facilities Committee. 

Braun’s ability to authorize emergency contracts stems from section 2 of the Iowa Code §262.34. The code states emergency procedures for repair, reconstruction, and restoration of a public improvement can be instituted under circumstances where delay would cause loss or injury to a regent-controlled institution. 

Additionally, the Iowa Code requires a separate action from the regents to approve the employed emergency procedures. 

Archie Wagner contributed to this report.