Regents mull replacing flooded UI buildings - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Regents mull replacing flooded UI buildings

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The Iowa Board of Regents heard from University of Iowa officials on Thursday, the cost and time estimates of moving and replacing the Hancher-Voxman-Clapp and Art Building East complexes.

Though no decision was made, board president David Miles agreed that the replacement option may be in the best long-term interests of the university.

"This seems like a very reasonable thought at this point, so to be working very hard on that angle and considering that as a likely or highly possible option, seems very reasonable," said Miles to University of Iowa officials.

Reasonable, but still costly.

The university says replacing the Hancher-Voxman-Clapp complex would have a price tag of $180 million. It's possible an additional $40 million would be required to update the building for current academic needs. The project would take about four and a half years to complete.

Replacement of the Art Building East complex would cost $45 million, with an additional $15 million to bring it up to today's academic standards. It would take an estimated three years to complete.

A report by the university says replacing both facilities would leave the university financially exposed, for up to $185 million over the next six years.

Miles asked the university for specific recommendations in future meetings on how to deal with "whatever the shortfall is, if it stays between $175 and $185 million."

The board approved $30 million dollars in liquidity facilities for cash flow purposes, so the university can continue to explore flood recovery strategies. The university's Vice President of Finance Doug True says the university does have some money for the work, but that it will need help from other sources.

"We have $25 million in academic building revenue bond proceeds that are being redeployed from projects on our Pentacrest that are to be used for a higher priority now, which is flood relief."

The university plans to have clear recommendations for replacement or rebuilding options for the board, as early as next month. They also plan to present ideas for possible building sites.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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