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Release: July 19, 2001

MEDIA ADVISORY

Groundbreaking for new UI Honors Center set for July 25

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa officials and other dignitaries will gather for a groundbreaking at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 25, on the site of the future Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Honors Center.

The 30-minute ceremony will take place on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway, east of the Chemistry Building. The Center will house the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and the Honors Program, making the UI the first school in the nation to offer -- under one roof -- programs, services and support for academically gifted and talented students all the way from kindergarten through college.

The Belin-Blank Center, part of the College of Education, is currently housed in the Lindquist Center. The Honors Program is housed in Shambaugh House.

Scheduled speakers for the groundbreaking include UI President Mary Sue Coleman, Foundation President Michael New, Belin-Blank Director Nicholas Colangelo and Honors Program Director Alice Fulton. Also expected to be on hand are donors Myron and Jacqueline Blank of Des Moines. The Blanks, co-founders and longtime supporters of the Belin-Blank Center, have donated $5 million toward the Center, which is expected to cost about $13 million.

Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architects of Des Moines will have several computer renderings of the Center on display at the groundbreaking.

The new building will include a basement and six floors with a total of 58,700 square feet. It will be connected to a proposed UI Careers Center at both the basement level and the second floor level. The building has been designed to preserve trees along the Cleary Walkway. Five classrooms to be included in the Honors Center will be used by the Belin-Blank Center during the summer months and weekends. During primary university instructional hours, honors courses will have first priority for these modern and flexible classrooms, but they will also be available as general assignment classrooms.