by STEPHEN PRADARELLI, reprinted from IowaNow
The Iowa Board of Regents on Wednesday voted to approve schematic designs and funding to bring arts buildings destroyed by the 2008 flood back to life, a significant step forward in the campus recovery process.
After touring the arts campus, the board approved nearly $405 million in new construction for a new Hancher Auditorium, Art Building and School of Music replacement facility. It also approved designs for the projects (view schematics, models and renderings of the proposed buildings here).
Holding its monthly meeting in Iowa City Wednesday, the board approved $175.6 million to replace Hancher Auditorium, $152 million to replace the School of Music and $77.3 million to replace the Art Building.
The cost for the three replacement projects will be covered by a combination of insurance, funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, revenue bonds, and university gifts and earnings.
Regents President Craig Lang said during a news conference earlier in the day that the board is happy with progress on the projects so far. Patrick Hall, Recovery Bureau chief for the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, echoed the sentiment and said recovery from such a devastating flood is a complex process.
The new Hancher Auditorium is scheduled to open in late 2015, and construction on the new Art Building and School of Music should be completed in 2016. Demolition of the existing Hancher could begin this fall.