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Release: Nov. 26, 2001

University releases statement on the role of gifts for Old Capitol restoration

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman today released a statement regarding the role of gifts from alumni and friends in restoring the Old Capitol Museum, which was damaged by fire and water last week.

"We are extremely grateful for the immediate outpouring of concern and generosity by our alumni and friends who want to help make sure the dome of the Old Capitol Museum is rebuilt and the entire building restored," Coleman said. "The University of Iowa Foundation established a fund for Old Capitol Museum because it received the first $100 donation even as the fire was still raging. To our alumni and friends, we say, 'Thank you! We assure you that the Old Capitol dome will be rebuilt and the interior will be restored.'

"It will take some time to work with insurance carriers to determine what needs to be done and how much it will cost. A number of university people are involved in this effort. Risk manager Diana Cook is leading the effort, working with insurance carriers, state officials, and others on the issue of financing the rebuilding of the Old Capitol cupola and repairing water damage inside the building. State government leaders have expressed their support for the university's efforts, as evidenced by Gov. Vilsack's tour of the Old Capitol Museum last Wednesday.

"The preservation and restoration of Old Capitol Museum is an on-going priority. The restoration of the cupola and the East Portico was Phase I of a two-part project to renovate and restore the entire exterior of Old Capitol at a cost of approximately $1.3 million. Gifts to help us accomplish that project have always been welcome. Clearly, the challenge is far greater now. We want our alumni and friends to know that any donations made for Old Capitol restoration will be put to work promptly as part of the university's long-term commitment to maintain and preserve Old Capitol as a museum for all Iowans — and others — to enjoy."