This summer, the University of Iowa will break ground on the first new residence hall to be built on campus since 1968.
The $53 million West Campus Residence Hall will be located on the corner of Grand Avenue and Byington Road, just east of Rienow Hall. In addition to housing for 501 students, it will include a multi-purpose room with a performance space, a sports grill operated by University Dining, a seminar room, tutoring and group study areas, a common area kitchen, and offices for residence hall staff.
The new residence hall is designed around the concept of living-learning communities (LLCs)-residential communities that connect students with common academic goals or interests. Those students live together in the residence hall, participate in activities centered on their common interest, and may also take a class or two together. Popular LLCs at Iowa include Women in Science and Engineering, Iowa writers and health sciences, among others.
The LLCs will be housed in pods of 26 to 28 students in double rooms, and will include a group study room, a lounge with dining space, and private bathrooms. Three floors of the 10-floor building will also include smaller clusters of rooms.
The UI has offered living-learning communities for more than 20 years. During the 2012-13 academic year, approximately one-fourth of the 4,400 first-year students living on campus are choosing to live in an LLC.
Like all new construction and renovation projects at the UI, the West Campus Residence Hall is designed with sustainability in mind, and will be built to silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards. Notable sustainability-related characteristics planned for the new residence hall include a heat recovery chiller unit, recycling rooms on each floor, green outlets designed to reduce electricity consumption, and temperature and light sensor controls in student rooms and common areas.
The new residence hall is funded by residence system revenue bonds.
Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015, with the first student residents occupying the rooms that fall.
IC housing projects featured in celebration
Two events will be combined next week to celebrate the successes of local community development projects. The city of Iowa City's annual Community Development Celebration will be held in conjunction with an open house at the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic and Dick Parrott Free Dental Clinic to showcase the clinic's new exterior facade, which was renovated as part of the Towncrest Urban Renewal project. The renovation was funded in part by local Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, and was one of the largest community development projects of the year.
The public is invited to attend the celebration on June 20 from 4:30-7 p.m. at the medical/dental facility, located at 2440 Towncrest Dr. A dedication program will be held at 5:30 p.m. Live music will be performed by Ben Schmidt. The event is being co-hosted by the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic, which this year marks 40 years of providing health care to the uninsured in our community, the Dick Parrott Free Dental Clinic, and the Iowa City Housing and Community Development Commission.
In addition to announcing the fiscal year 2013 projects that will receive community development funding, Iowa City Mayor Matthew Hayek will present the following Community Development awards:
Outstanding Community Partnership: Iowa City Free Medical Clinic & Dick Parrott Free Dental Clinic
Outstanding Community Partner: Hawkeye Title & Settlement Services, LLC
Outstanding Contractor: Dave Stepp Heating & Air Conditioning
A visual retrospective of community development projects and start-up businesses that have received CDBG funding over the years, including Aniston Village affordable rental housing, the new Shelter House facility, the facility rehab for the Mayor's Youth Empowerment Program and a profile of local businesses, is also scheduled.
CDBG and HOME funds, which are used to meet the housing, employment, and service needs for low- to moderate-income Iowa City residents, are awarded each year by the federal government, but disbursed to local organizations and projects by the city's Community Development division. Recommendations on which projects will receive funding, and in what amount, are made by the Housing and Community Development Commission and approved by the city council.
For more information, contact Tracy Hightshoe, community development planner, at (319) 356-5244 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.