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University of Iowa News Release

May 1, 2006

Old Capitol Museum To Reopen May 6 With Ceremony, Family Fun

When fire engulfed the cupola and dome of the University of Iowa's beloved symbol, the Old Capitol, many wondered whether the building would ever be the same. More than 50,000 gallons of water poured in, warping floors and creating sodden columns and walls. It took more than a year to dry out, and nearly four more years to complete, but the Old Capitol is finally ready to welcome visitors once more.

On May 6, the Old Capitol will be officially reopened. The day will begin with a formal ceremony and ribbon-cutting at 9:30 a.m., followed by musical and other performances by members of the university and surrounding communities. In addition to the on-stage festivities, visitors can take self-guided tours of the Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History, play historic games, learn about historic trees near the Pentacrest and the geological history of Pentacrest buildings, and more.

For many university students, this will be their first opportunity to visit the building in which Iowa moved from territory to statehood and the UI's historic home. Previous visitors who wondered whether Old Capitol would ever be the same will find the answer is no; instead, it's greatly improved. While the rich, neoclassical color palette that graces the walls will be the first change visitors notice, there are many others, including the two new galleries on the ground level that celebrate Iowa's culture and history. The Iowa Humanities Gallery, which will feature exhibitions on Iowa history and culture and UI research, and the Discovery Center, which includes engaging exhibitions on immigration and Iowa's changing population. A main focus will be the Children's Diary Project, a selection of diary entries gleaned from Iowa children past and present.

Following is a list of the day's events.

* 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Reopening ceremony, featuring remarks by UI President David Skorton, Board of Regents, State of Iowa President Michael Gartner, and others. In addition, the Collegium Tubum will perform and UI graduate student Quiliano Anderson, will sing the national anthem. The ceremony will be followed by a ribbon-cutting by Mary Louise Peterson, co-chair of Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University; and UI President Emeritus Willard "Sandy" Boyd. Skorton and Gartner will open the doors to the Old Capitol after the ribbon-cutting.

* 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Self-guided tours of the Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History

* 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Historical Games sponsored by the Johnson County Historical Society, Willowwind School and Alpha Xi Delta Sorority

* Face-painting for children provided by Willowwind School throughout the day

* 1 p.m. Heritage Tree Walk with Jeff Schabilion, UI professor of biological sciences. Organized by the UI Natural History Museum

* 2 p.m. Geology walk-led by Ray Anderson of the Iowa Geological Survey and the UI Department of Geosciences. Take a geological tour of the Pentacrest for a discussion of the geologic history of the materials used in construction of the Pentacrest buildings.

Sunday, May 7 - Self guided tours - Old Capitol Museum and UI Museum of Natural History - 1 to 5 p.m.

* 2 p.m. A special edition of Sunday Stories at Go at the UI Museum of Natural History: learn all about Iowa's state rock. Williams Hosford, a school media specialist and former earth science teacher, will read from his new book, Geo the Geode.

On-stage performances include:

* 11 a.m. Carlis Faurot, Glen Lonsdale and Paul Williams perform lively folk music on guitar, fiddle, and bass, including tunes composed for the reopening of the Old Capitol Museum

* 11:45 a.m. Jazz Transit, jazz vocal group from Kirkwood Community College

* 12:30 p.m. Nate Staniforth, magician

* 1:15 p.m. Metro Mix, award-winning barbershop-style chorus

* 2 p.m. Iowa City Girls Choir, local girls in 4th through 6th grade, performing a range of choral music

* 2:45 p.m. Acoustic Mayhem, old-time instrumentalists, with a repertoire from country to Cajun to classical

* 3:30 p.m. Turkana, Turkish folk and pop music ensemble

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Linzee McCray, 319-384-0044, linzee-mccray@uiowa.edu.