UI receives approval for work at Children’s Hospital, Memorial Union

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa received approval Wednesday to make improvements to two key buildings.

UI Vice President Rod Lenhertz asked the Board of Regents to approve the design to build out the seventh floor of the Stead Family Children’s Hospital to expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “It would add an additional 28 NICU patient rooms and all support spaces that are also present on the sixth floor,” he says. The seventh floor was left as a shell when the hospital was built in anticipation of future expansion. Lenhertz says the project is projected to cost 41 million dollars and will be funded by University Hospitals building usage funds.

Lenhertz also requested permission to approve the design plans to restore the third floor ballroom to the Iowa Memorial Union. He says the ballroom space was needed for the art department after the 2008 flood. “That ballroom was reconfigured and redesigned after 2008 as a temporary museum space. All with the understanding that upon our completing our Stanley Museum of Art, which is complete and has been active obviously, we would return that space for use for our student life and IMU folks,” he says.

Lehnertz says the ballroom was a popular venue for student events and to rent out for other events before the flood. “It’s 5,100 square feet serves as many as 300 visitors and we will return that space back to its pre-flood state. It’s a two-point-four million dollars project and we would start construction on that this spring,” Lehnertz says. The work on the ballroom restoration is expected to be completed in the fall.

The University of Iowa also received approval to plan a new parking ramp west of the College of Dentistry. The ramp would hold between 1,000 and 1,200 parking stalls with an estimated project budget of 55 to 60 million dollars.