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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
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e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Feb. 14, 2001

Regents asked to permit project planning for a new West campus residence hall

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will ask the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for permission to proceed with project planning and the selection of an architect for a new residence hall on the West campus. The construction of a new residence hall and related student support facilities will address the most pressing needs on the West campus and is anticipated to be the first project in a series of steps designed to redevelop the West campus.

The proposal to be considered by the Regents is part of the residence services department's 10-year capital plan that is intended to meet the student demand for housing and to increase the level of student services on the West campus. In recent years, nearly half of incoming freshman have requested semi-private rooms with bath when applying for housing, and these requests are increasing by five percent each year.

"If the university is to be successful in attracting students to its campus and to reflect the changing wants of first-year students, the construction of a residence hall of this type is necessary," said Maggie Van Oel, director of residence services.

A goal of the UI's new five-year strategic plan calls for the creation of a campus environment that reflects the changing needs of the student population. Additional residence hall capacity would also make it possible to make improvements to current facilities, which because of high demand cannot be temporarily removed from service for renovation.

That could include a West campus branch of the Student Union, space for academic activities and a new student learning center for the athletic department.

A new residence hall building will be financed with residence services revenue bonds and is estimated to cost between $20 million to $30 million depending upon the size, location and number of students to be served. This estimate is very preliminary and will be refined during the planning process. The Regents will consider the proposal at its Feb. 21-22 meeting at Iowa State University in Ames.