More space needed for growing programs, enrollment
Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Editor's note: The Iowa Board of Regents approved this project at its meeting on June 13.

The University of Iowa is seeking approval from the Iowa Board of Regents to create more space for the growing Tippie College of Business.

This multi-stage project would include enclosing the internal courtyard patio of Pappajohn Business Building and modernizing the adjacent Gilmore Hall for the college’s use. Additional UI-owned land across Clinton Street from the Pappajohn Business Building would be held for future development to accommodate growth of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and related programs.

The proposed donor-funded expansion project, which will be considered by the board at its June meeting, is the result of years of study that at one time included the possibility of constructing a new building on UI-owned property east of Pappajohn Business Building. The current proposal, however, best matches programmatic space needs with projected donor/partner support.

Since the Tippie College of Business moved from Phillips Hall into the newly built Pappajohn Business Building in 1994, the number of programs offered by the college and the number of students enrolled have nearly doubled.

“The Tippie College of Business is one academic unit that has been designated as in significant need for more space,” says Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations. “This proposal helps secure continued success of the college while advancing the university’s commitment to efficiently plan and use campus space and modernize important but aging campus buildings.”

Gilmore Hall was built in 1910 as the university’s first College of Law building. It is currently home to several academic and research programs, including the Graduate College, which would be relocated to other areas of campus. 

The renovation of Gilmore Hall would eliminate longstanding deferred maintenance costs of about $8 million and would enable the university to modernize a building important to its heritage and history. The estimated cost to renovate the building for use by Tippie is $30 million to $40 million. 

Work to enclose the courtyard of Pappajohn Business Building would take place first, at an estimated cost of $15 million to $20 million. 

“As student demand for business education continues its dramatic growth, we are excited to balance new, innovative spaces with honoring the legacy of historic campus buildings,” says Amy Kristof-Brown, dean of the Tippie College of Business. “These new spaces will exemplify Tippie’s mantra of ‘Open for Business,’ by creating spaces for creative collaboration between students, faculty, and corporate and community partners.”

In addition to donor funding, the project also would be supported by Tippie reserve funds. UI General Fund dollars would be used to help eliminate the outstanding deferred maintenance needs of Gilmore Hall. 

Relocation of programs housed in Gilmore Hall

Art Building
The original 1936 Art Building will be remodeled for use by the Graduate College.

Modernization of Gilmore Hall would be dependent on the relocation of units currently housed there. A primary enabling project would be the renovation of the original 1936 Art Building located just across the Iowa River from the Iowa Memorial Union. The building has been vacant since the 2008 flood and would serve as the future home of the Graduate College and other academic units. Its renovation already has received approval from the Board of Regents, and is scheduled to be bid before the end of this year.

The current project to relocate the Computer Science program into the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratory will create vacancy in MacLean Hall, one of the five buildings on the Pentacrest. The Department of Religious Studies, which is currently located in Gilmore, would move to MacLean.

The proposed Tippie expansion is part of the university’s 10-year facilities master plan.