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Release: Oct. 18, 2001

UI announces one-year delay on Phase II of West Campus Athletic and Recreation project

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Bidding on Phase II of the West Campus Hawkeye Athletic and Recreation Complex will be delayed one year, University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman announced today. Phase II includes the construction of an aquatics center, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, recreation space, lockers, showers, and offices.

Phase I of that project is well under way and will be completed within a year. That includes the Roy G. Karro Hall of Fame and Visitors Center Building, a new women's intercollegiate soccer field, and all site grading, utilities, roads and parking.

"Our commitment to this project is undiminished, but regrettably, we need to delay the bidding process on Phase II," Coleman said. "Given the current uncertainty of state appropriations for the university, we want to make sure that we can accomplish other short-term infrastructure demands over the next year before proceeding with Phase II of this vital project.

"The recreation and athletics facilities that make up this project are essential for the university to attract and retain students as well as faculty and staff who participate in a variety of wellness programs," Coleman said.

"We are very disappointed that it was necessary to delay the West Campus project," said Bob Bowlsby, UI director of intercollegiate athletics. "This is an important initiative for our program and for campus recreation. However, we can all understand the need to take a conservative approach to capital projects at this time of financial uncertainty. We look forward to the completion of the West Campus Complex just as soon as it is fiscally advisable."

The new facilities will replace the swimming facility at the Field House, which was originally constructed in the 1920s and must be replaced. Likewise, indoor tennis courts at the Recreation Building need to be replaced to make room for high-demand student activities. Additional fitness equipment will be included in Phase II of the west campus project.

Because no state appropriated funds are being used, private gifts play a significant role in the entire West Campus project, Coleman noted. The Karro Athletics Hall of Fame and Visitors Center is being funded entirely with private gifts to the university. Additional private gifts are essential to the Phase II work, which will be funded with a combination of gifts, athletic revenues, utility enterprise funds, parking system funds, institutional road funds and student building fees.