Life beginning to return to Iowa Memorial Union - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Life beginning to return to Iowa Memorial Union

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by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Slowly but surely, an integral part of the University of Iowa campus is coming back to life.

"It's not only good access to the rest of campus, but now you can come here and study," said IMU marketing representative Kelly Canfield.  "You can come here and eat."

The Iowa Memorial Union was one of the hardest hit university buildings during the June flood. The IMU reopened a month ago, drawing students back to places like the Bijou Theater.

"It's just been surreal because it's been going from one job to the next," said Iowa House Hotel employee David Doering.  "For a while we were at the distribution center and then the bookstore and yeah, it's just been kinda surreal."

"It's been a huge loss for the university and for the community as a whole so it's wonderful to have this aspect back and some of the services back that were lost due to the flood," said Richard Geer, general manager of retail dining services.

Many businesses are just now returning. Welcome back week began Monday with the reopening of the Iowa House Hotel and River Room Cafe.

"It was pleasantly busy," said Geer.

Geer says about 150 people came through the cafe for lunch Monday, many more than expected.

Employees like Kelly Canfield have come to expect the unexpected. She became a marketing rep for the IMU a year ago. After moving to a temporary location off campus, she's glad to be back where she started.

"I'm very excited because I'm graduating in May so it's nice to kind of be back here and be able to enjoy it before I leave," said Canfield.

The ground floor remains closed at the IMU and by most estimates it will likely stay that way for at least another year. But from the first floor up, life has returned here and many students and employees say it almost feels back to normal.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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