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 Parklawn Residence Hall to be closed next school year

At the end of the school year, Parklawn will no longer be used by the university as an available residence hall for students.
Madison Frette
Parklawn Residence Hall is seen in Iowa City on March 7, 2024.

After being reopened in 2022, incoming and returning University of Iowa students will not be able to choose Parklawn Residence Hall as a future living option on campus.

The UI will officially close the residence hall at the end of the spring semester and will not reopen it for students next year. Parklawn was previously closed in 2017 when Catlett Residence Hall was built, but reopened in 2022.

Though Parklawn is set to close, Mayflower Residence Hall will remain open despite its pending sale. Because of demand for on-campus housing, with nearly 1,500 returning students in fall 2024, Mayflower will remain open for the upcoming year and will take in the returning students who wished to live in Parklawn.

With space for more than 130 students, Parklawn Residence Hall is located on the west side of campus but does not have on-site campus dining. According to Google Maps, it takes approximately 23 minutes to walk from Parklawn to the Pentacrest.

For some students, Parklawn was only considered as a last housing option because of itssmall number of student amenities and its distance from campus.

Maclayne Crews, a UI first-year student who lives in Parklawn, said she and her roommate didn’t necessarily “choose” to live in Parklawn because it wasn’t their first residence hall choice. Crews was late to the admissions process when applying to colleges last year, and did not have many housing options left.

Erica Sayler, another UI first-year student, chose to live in Mayflower because she liked that its dorms include a kitchen, single bathrooms, and a large sense of community. Although Sailor will not return to Mayflower next year, she said she loved her experience there and made a lot of friends in the dorms.

Von Stange, senior director of University Housing and Dining, said there are multiple reasons the university decided to close Parklawn, such as its limited access to amenities, space, and campus access.

Stange said Mayflower offers a wider variety of student amenities compared to Parklawn, such as space for more than 1,000 students, suite-style and single dorms, larger bathrooms, easy transportation access, and a C-store.

UI Housing and Dining also plans to construct additional features in Mayflower, like more study lounges to make room for incoming first-years and returning students, who happen to be a part of a larger class than normal.

Stange is unsure how long Parklawn will remain closed, but the decision for Parklawn’s reopening and how long Mayflower will remain open depends on the size of the incoming classes.

He added that Parklawn has closed many times in the past, as its availability depends on the university’s need for more or less housing.

“If we see a first-year class size that is shockingly large, we could certainly have the building ready to open again,” Stange said. “But our plans at this point in time is that based on first-year class size number returners, we’ll be able to house everyone in our current residence halls without using Parklawn.”

Although Parklawn will be closing, the university has no plans to sell the property, and the building will remain vacant until future use.

After the student housing application portal closed this year, Stange said UI housing received 1,500 requests from students who wanted to reapply for housing. Stange said this growth in applications and admissions was about 500 more than the usual number of returning students.

With this larger number of returning students, UI Housing and Dining decided that keeping Mayflower open was their best option, as Parklawn could only house less than 150 students overall.

“We’re excited about the possibilities that Mayflower Hall has for us, having that open for at least another year,” Stange said.

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About the Contributor
Madison Frette
Madison Frette, Photojournalist
Madison Frette is a second-year student at The University of Iowa double majoring in Business Analytics and Information Systems and Cinematic Arts. This is her first year working as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan.