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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 18, 2007

Photo: Click on image for high-resolution version

Regents OK new academic building for UI College of Public Health

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa today gave final approval for the University of Iowa to proceed with development of the College of Public Health Academic Building. The new facility will consolidate the college's academic, student-related, and administrative functions, which at present are housed in 16 locations on and off campus.

"This facility will provide an academic home for the university's newest collegiate unit and one that is critically important to enhancing the health of Iowans," said UI President Sally Mason. "As a society, we increasingly recognize the importance of protecting health at the community level, whether through the prevention of infectious diseases, providing care to elders, or promoting healthy environments. This new building will provide the infrastructure to support our faculty and students who are at the leading edge of work in this area."

The $47.7 million building, funded by a combination of state appropriations, federal grants, university revenue bonds, and private gifts, will be constructed on the existing International Center site. The facility will consist of two wings with a total of five levels each, including one underground level.  All but the fourth level and a first-level auditorium will be completed as part of initial construction. The facility's exterior will be constructed of limestone and glass with metal panel accents designed to complement existing university buildings and the natural environment of the site.

Upon final completion, the facility will provide offices for primary faculty in the college's five academic departments: biostatistics; community and behavioral health; epidemiology; health management and policy; and occupational and environmental health.  The new building also will provide much-needed space for public health instruction and student-related functions, including classrooms, computer laboratories, a student lounge, and space for student services and distance learning facilities. Office space for core administrative functions of the college will be incorporated as well.

A central feature of the new building will be an emphasis on sustainable design principles and "green" technology. Features such as reflective roofing, use of natural lighting, permeable paving systems, vegetative swales, and native species planting areas are intended to improve the working environment for the building's users and ensure the facility harmonizes with the campus environment. The university will seek certification of this building within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

"The commitment to environmental sustainability is closely tied to the educational and service mission of the college," noted James Merchant, dean of the College of Public Health. "It also reflects the proven connection between a healthy environment and sound public health."

Groundbreaking for the new facility is scheduled to take place Oct. 12, 2007. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2008, with project completion during the summer of 2010.

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4261 Westlawn, Iowa City, IA 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-335-0552 (office), 319-530-6972 (cell),; Dan McMillan, College of Public Health,, 319-335-6835.

PHOTO: A high-resolution image of the College of Public Health Academic Building is available at