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University of Iowa News Release

 

Jan. 26, 2009

Note: Listen to an mp3 audio file of today's media briefing on the flood recovery. UITV will broadcast the briefing at 6:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. today, Monday, Jan. 26; 12:45 a.m., 10 a.m. and 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27; and 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28.

FEMA announces financing options for flood-damaged UI buildings

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will finance either the replacement or restoration and mitigation of two major University of Iowa building complexes damaged in the flood of June 2008, UI President Sally Mason announced today. Those buildings include Hancher Auditorium, Voxman Music Building and Clapp Recital Hall and the Art Building East complex.

"It is important to understand that FEMA is not directing the university to replace the Hancher/Voxman/Clapp complex or the Art Building East complex," Mason said. "The university, with proper campus consultation, will examine the costs and benefits of both options and make a recommendation to the Board of Regents as soon as possible." Additional background information on the FEMA determinations will be provided to the Board of Regents at its meeting on Feb. 3 in Ankeny.

Mason said the UI would develop an "ambitious" schedule for rebuilding flood-damaged buildings. "Our goal is to demonstrate an urgency that gives our students, faculty and staff confidence in our continuing commitment to their well-being," she said.

Several other major UI buildings damaged by the flood will be eligible for FEMA financing for restoration and mitigation strategies to prevent damage from future flooding. Those include Art Building West, Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories, Theatre Building, the Iowa Memorial Union, the Museum of Art building, Hawkeye Court Apartments, and the UI power plant and energy distribution systems.

For the Hancher/Voxman/Clapp and Art Building East complexes, FEMA will finance 90 percent of the cost for replacement or 90 percent of the cost of in-place restoration for like kind and quality of damaged buildings and mitigation, Senior Vice President Doug True said. For the other buildings, FEMA will provide 90 percent of the cost of in-place restoration for like kind and quality of damaged buildings and mitigation only.

The partnership between the UI and FEMA will continue as replacement and restoration projects proceed, UI officials added. FEMA must review and approve all of those plans to address environmental, historic preservation, and flood mitigation concerns.

This is a rundown of major buildings evaluated by FEMA:

--Hancher/Voxman/Clapp: this music/performing arts complex was built in the early 1970s and contains 297,000 square feet of space. Original flood damage estimate, not including clean up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs, was $20 million for the building and $6 million for contents.

--Art Building East: includes the original, historic School of Art and Art History Building completed in 1936 and additional buildings constructed in the 1960s, totaling 92,000 square feet. Original damage estimate (not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs): $5 million for the building and $2 million for contents.

--Art Building West, which opened in 2008, sustained an estimated $10 million in building damage and $2 million damage to its contents, not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs. The UI has already begun a restoration project that may allow classes to resume there as soon as January 2010.

--Iowa Advanced Technology Labs have been partially restored and reoccupied by specialized research teams that could not be accommodated elsewhere on campus. Original flood damage estimate (not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs): $8 million for the facility; $34 million for contents.

--Theatre Building's upper floors have been restored and reoccupied. Original damage estimate (not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs): $3.5 million for the facility and $1 million for contents.

--Iowa Memorial Union has also been reoccupied above the ground floor. Original flood damage estimate (not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs): $15 million for the building; $5 million for contents.

--Museum of Art Building has been partially reoccupied at the north end on an interim basis by the School of Music. The UI's art collection was removed before the flood by the UI's insurer. Original damage estimate (not including cleanup, mitigation and temporary replacement costs): $3.5 million for the building; $500,000 for contents.

--Power plant and the tunnel distribution systems sustained an estimated $20 million each in damage from the flood, not including cleanup, mitigation and temporary replacement costs. Contracts have been awarded to construct tunnel system barriers to isolate the plant from future tunnel flooding. That work will be completed by May 2009, and additional protective barriers will be completed as soon as possible afterwards.

--Hawkeye Court Apartments. The portions of this housing complex that were damaged by flooding will be eligible for in-place restoration and mitigation to prevent future flooding. Original damage estimate not including clean-up, mitigation and temporary replacement costs: $1,000,000 building; $100,000 contents.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552 (office), 319-530-6972 (cell), or steven-parrott@uiowa.edu