The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI continues with multiple capital improvement projects as part of ten-year master plan

The improvements across campus follow a state Board of Regents approval.
Carly Schrum
Construction worker Jordan Walker works on a construction project for a new Starbucks location at the Iowa Memorial Union on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

After receiving approval from the state Board of Regents earlier this year, the University of Iowa is making headway on construction as part of its 10-year master plan.

Part of this master plan includes the construction of a new dormitory to replace Mayflower Residence Hall, building a new parking ramp near Kinnick Stadium, and major updates to the Iowa Memorial Union.

Iowa Memorial Union renovations

The IMU is currently undergoing renovations, including updates to the Hawk Shop bookstore, ice cream shop, an incoming Starbucks, and an additional marketplace.

The UI last renovated the IMU in 2007, but improvements were halted because of the 2008 flood. The university received a grant to fix the damages but was unable to complete the second phase of its plan.

The current renovations to the IMU include ideas from the original plan, as well as adjustments to fit student needs.

Take a look at the IMU’s new upgrades:

Because of the upcoming decommissioning of the Iowa House Hotel, which will close in August 2024, more space will soon be available in the IMU.

Bill Nelson, IMU associate dean and executive director, said an increase in hotels in Iowa City has made the Iowa House Hotel less profitable, leading to its decommission.

The IMU will become a “well-being center” with counseling, wellness, health, legal, and basic needs services all moved to the centralized location.

Other additions include the new ice cream shop called the Old Gold Creamery in partnership with local ice cream vendor Heyn’s Ice Cream and located on the ground floor in the location that formerly housed Java House.

RELATED: UI replaces IMU Java House with Heyn’s Ice Cream shop

The renovations will later bring a new cafe and marketplace, featuring a Starbucks with a full menu of drinks and food.

The Hawk Shop — which underwent renovations over the summer — will also be finalized within weeks, said Cory Lockwood, the senior associate director of the IMU.

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services

The UI’s College of Pharmacy building was completed in 2019. With the foresight of future expansion, the university blocked off the sixth floor for later use but has now expressed a need for research space.

“Working together is an important part of not only our research but of economic development for the state,” said Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president of finance and operations at the UI.

The sixth floor will house laboratories for the College of Pharmacy research, faculty, and students. Floors three, four, and five of the pharmaceutical science research building will be moved to the College of Pharmacy building, allowing more space for both departments.

Hawkeye Parking Ramp and UIHC updates

The UI Hospitals and Clinics complex will add a hospital patient tower that will be similar to the current children’s hospital tower.

Lehnertz described this project as the largest and most impactful of the ten-year master plan.

Hospital Parking Ramp 1 sits in the footprint of the incoming tower. Before construction on the tower can begin, the existing ramp will be removed and replaced with a larger, newer version north of Kinnick Stadium.

Referred to as the Hawkeye Parking Ramp, it will be a five-level ramp with approximately 1,000 parking stalls on Lot 43 north of the West Campus Transportation Center.

The new ramp will take roughly two years to construct and will cost $50 million. It will be used primarily for employee parking.

Once construction of the ramp is finished, the UIHC tower project will begin toward the end of 2025.

The UI is also working on building a new hospital in North Liberty at Forevergreen Road. Focused on orthopedics, the new health care complex will include an emergency room and provide more patient beds.

Lehnertz said this project will give relief to capacity challenges at the main UIHC complex and serve the health care needs of the greater Iowa City area community.

With a budget of approximately $363 million, construction of the new hospital started in January 2021 and will be completed in 2025.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that the new hospital ramp will take roughly two years to construct and will cost $45 million and that it will be used for both hospital and athletic purposes. The Daily Iowan regrets this error.

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg
Roxy Ekberg, Politics Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Carly Schrum
Carly Schrum, Photojournalist
Carly is a freshman majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication and potentially majoring in sustainability. She works at the Daily Iowan as a photojournalist.