Thursday, November 17, 2022

It’s an exciting time to be a Hawkeye and to witness the campus transformation that will take place beginning in 2023. As part of the University of Iowa’s 10-year facilities master plan, projects will include state-of-the-art buildings, equipment, learning spaces, and other amenities.

Some work already is underway on the west side of campus, where other projects await that will help the university deliver on its missions of educating Iowa students and caring for Iowa patients.

The progress will cause some short-term disruption for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors, but the long-term benefits of growth and modernization will position the university for continued success.

“As with any major construction project, we will put a high priority on minimizing the impact for our campus community, patients, and visitors,” says Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations and university architect. “These temporary inconveniences are enabling an exciting campus transformation that will benefit generations to come.”

Enabling projects for new health care tower

In January, UI Health Care announced plans for a new inpatient tower made possible by a $70 million gift from the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation. In order to build the state-of-the-art tower in its planned location and connect it to the current hospital complex, several other projects will need to be completed first.

The new tower will be built on the footprint of three existing structures: Hospital Ramp 1, a water tower, and the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center. Several projects starting in spring 2023 will make this possible:

  • Construction of a new parking ramp north of Kinnick Stadium (Lot 43) is expected to be completed in winter 2024. The new Hawkeye Ramp will connect to the existing hospital skywalk and offer about 900 parking spaces serving primarily university faculty and staff working on the hospital campus.
  • When the Hawkeye Ramp is complete, Hospital Parking Ramp 1 will be torn down.
  • A larger water tower to increase capacity on the west campus will be built northwest of the football outdoor practice fields. Completion is expected in mid-2025, after which the existing water tower located near the main hospital and the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center will be torn down.
  • The Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center and Iowa’s top-ranked Communication Sciences and Disorders program will need a new home. A new west campus academic building will be built for these and two other programs: Health and Human Physiology and the Carver College of Medicine’s physical therapy program. This building will be built on the footprint of the existing South Quad and the adjacent parking lot (Lot 14).
    • Underway now, the north wing of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Building is being renovated and will be the new home of Iowa’s Military Science and ROTC program, which is currently located in South Quad. Renovation is expected to be complete in late spring 2023.
  • The demolition of South Quad is expected in summer 2023.
  • Construction of the new west campus academic building is expected to begin in summer 2023, with anticipated completion in mid-2025.
  • The Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center building is expected to be razed in summer 2025.

Finally, construction of the new inpatient tower is expected to begin in late summer 2025. The tower will add more beds for UI Hospitals & Clinics, which is consistently at or above capacity. The additional space will significantly improve operations and help the hospital to continue providing access and care for complex patients who come from every county in Iowa.

“The addition of the new inpatient tower will help ensure the continued world-class patient care at UI Hospital & Clinics that all Iowans have come to rely on,” Lehnertz says. “This modernization plan is visionary and will establish the University of Iowa as a destination for students, faculty, staff, and patients well into the future.”

About the 10-year facilities master plan

Projects that are part of the 10-year facilities master plan will be paid for with a mix of donor funding, state funding, hospital revenue, and other sources.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, in January granted the UI permission to proceed with planning projects that are part of the 10-year plan. Once projects are developed and funding commitments have been identified, individual projects will go before the Board of Regents for design and budget approval.

The plan, which spans the next decade of campus development, is expected to evolve and change over time.

Other projects in planning or underway

Goschke Family Wrestling Training Center
Construction of the Goschke Family Wrestling Training Center began in June. The center is being built adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the home of Iowa wrestling for almost 40 years. A tunnel will connect the new center to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Emergency Department expansion
UI Hospitals & Clinics is expanding its emergency department to meet the needs of more complex patients, including complex psychiatric patients, and to improve the flow of patients through the ED. Highlights include expanded space for behavioral health, relocation of the crisis stabilization unit to be adjacent to the ED, a new dedicated pediatric space, and supportive technology.

Expansion of John Pappajohn Pavilion
UI Hospitals & Clinics is adding two floors onto John Pappajohn Pavilion to add more patient beds. An additional inpatient unit is being created on the new level nine. Mechanical equipment to support all floors will be moved to a new level 10 and existing floors seven and eight will be renovated to add additional capacity. The expansion is in the planning phase and is expected to be complete by summer 2025.

South Wing level 2 renovation
UI Hospitals & Clinics will add 13 inpatient beds by renovating level two of the South Wing, located between General Hospital and Roy J. Carver Pavilion. This project was approved by the Board of Regents in November and is in the planning phase, with construction expected to begin in spring 2023.

Outpatient clinic development
UI Hospitals & Clinics is seeking a third-party development team to acquire land, design, plan, construct, and own a medical office building in Iowa City. This will increase access to primary medical care for the local community as well as train physicians in a setting similar to other primary care offices in Iowa.