Projects are in the planning stage for work that will impact and improve buildings that our departments and units use.
Sunday, November 13, 2022

The University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics have created 10-year facilities master plans. In coordination with the Iowa Board of Regents, the plan seeks to “renew, right-size, and improve” the campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Projects will move forward based on institutional priorities, available funding, and approval by the regents — meaning these plans are fluid and may change over time contingent on those factors.

Current Projects

Two projects are currently underway that impact CLAS.  

The Nonfiction Writing Program House is nearing completion and is expected to open in January. This donor-funded project cost $1.25 million and features 3,500 square feet of space for faculty offices, workspace for teaching assistants, seminar classrooms, and an open library/lounge space that will open to an outdoor patio. Construction began in March.  

Design work is underway for a $6.2 million renovation to the seventh floor of Van Allen Hall for space physics. The schematic design work was completed in August and construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2023, with a goal of completion in late 2024. The bulk of funding will come from university central administration, with $1.5 million committed from the college.  

Projects: 2022-2027 

The first phase of the proposed 10-year facilities plan includes work on a west campus academic building, renewal work to Pentacrest buildings, and the transformation of the Old Museum of Art.  

The West Campus Academic Building will be the future home of CLAS’s Communication Sciences and Disorders and Health and Human Physiology departments, as well as Carver College of Medicine's Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science program. This building is needed because the hospital plans to build an inpatient tower where the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center sits as well as a future project to build an ambulatory care center where Field House is located. The new academic building will be built on the corner of Melrose and South Grand streets. Design is underway and construction is anticipated to start in 2023 and end in 2025.  

Plans are also in the works to restore and modernize MacLean Hall and Jessup Hall—each for $30 million–during this timeline. State funding is anticipated to be approved in spring 2023 for the first building, MacLean, with others to follow. Upon completion, Computer Science will remain in MacLean along with another to-be-determined CLAS program. Central Administration will move to Gilmore Hall, freeing up more space in Jessup for Mathematics, Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, Sociology and Criminology, and the Office of Sustainability and the Environment once the building is renovated.  

Finally, the Old Museum of Art will be revamped for the department of Dance. The new space would accommodate 5-7 dance studios, classrooms, offices, and more. As part of the project, a production facility for costumes and a paint shop is being proposed. The project is expected to cost between $20-$25 million and is awaiting a funding model before next steps can be determined. In the meantime, CLAS is working to make modest improvements so that Dance can begin utilizing some spaces for research and teaching. 

Projects: 2027-2032 

Between five and 10 years out, work is planned to continue on Jessup Hall, with a third phase addressing Macbride Hall. The university also plans to sell Jefferson Building near the end of this ten-year plan, which would relocate Classics; Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; African-American studies; and American Studies. The UI also hopes to invest in modernization and additional space for research on the east side of campus, though priorities, timelines, and funding models have yet to be set. This will happen in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research.  

A lot can change over the next ten years, but we expect many positive changes to CLAS facilities–some of which are already underway. The College will always keep faculty and staff informed well in advance, especially in units directly impacted by any changes.