Flooded U of I buildings get FEMA funding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flooded U of I buildings get FEMA funding

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University of Iowa campus at the height of June's flood University of Iowa campus at the height of June's flood

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has promised to pay all but 10%, to either rebuild or completely replace two major buildings on the University of Iowa campus.

University officials spoke with the media Monday on what this means for its students and faculty.

A lot of work has been done on the campus since last June's major flood. But as Iowa Board of Regents President David Miles put it, "it's still not 100 percent."

"This is an important step today, in restoring the glory of the University of Iowa arts campus," said Miles.

FEMA's decision will bring the campus a little closer to that glory. The agency will finance 90% of the costs to repair or replace the Hancher Music and Art Building East complexes.

University President Sally Mason says replacing the two buildings would change the layout of the Iowa City campus, moving them away from the flood plain.

"It's hard to say precisely how the arts campus will look, and where exactly all these structures will be, but that's the next step," said Mason.

She went on to say that the student and faculty body had outgrown Hancher and Art Building East. This may give the school a chance to expand and improve the facilities.

"We would look at options that will include rebuilding to make certain that we could house the programs in their current configurations."

Mason gave no timeline, but called the rebuilding 'ambitious.'

"We now have to work hard, and we will, with proper campus consultation, examine the costs and the benefits of both of those options, and make a recommendation to the Board of Regents as soon as possible."

The university is asking state lawmakers to redirect $25 million in academic building revenue bonds to cover its 10% share of the costs.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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