Board of Regents February preview


(From left to right) Board of Regents President Pro Tem Bruce L. Rastetter, President Craig A. Lang and Executive Director Robert Donley lead the Board of Regents meeting in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Issues regarding Iowa students and universities were discussed in the March 13, 2013, meeting.

Danielle Ferguson

Iowa State has a $234 million list of requests for the February Board of Regents meeting.

Requests include permission to proceed with planning the Biosciences Building, construction of a new residence hall and dining facility, additional off-campus housing, renovations to Jack Trice Stadium’s south end zone seating and an addition to the Scheman Building.

The Biosciences Facilities Project

Iowa State is requesting approval for project planning on the Biosciences Facilities project. Estimated cost for the project is $80 million of state appropriation and private donations. Iowa State has come up with a five-year fiscal budget plan, with a fiscal year 2015 state request of $5 million.

Warren Madden, senior vice president of business and finance, said the project is in response to needs for increased lab and research space.

The plan includes a 112,000 square foot new building north of Lagomarcino on Stange Road and a 42,000 square foot addition to Bessey Hall.

Approximately $55 million would come from state funding and the remaining $25 million would come from private donations and the university, Madden said.

If approved by the regents, the university is granted permission to proceed with the planning of the project. The legislature must also approve the budget.

“Assuming the legislature finishes up its work in late April, we should know … by late spring if this has been funded or not,” Madden said.

Buchanan Residence Hall

A Buchanan Residence Hall number two project is also up for approval by the board. The project would provide a 700 bed undergraduate residence hall next to Buchanan to help meet increased enrollment needs. Even with the university adding 720 apartment beds to Frederiksen Court and using 436 beds in den areas in residence halls, the Department of Residence foresees a continuous demand for housing.

The project does not have a detailed budget at this point, but the university estimates it will cost approximately $50 million.

If approved by the regents, the university can proceed with project planning.

The Department of Residence is also looking into renovating a portion of Willow hall.

“The windows are in bad shape and the walls need to be repaired,” Madden said. “The Department of Residence wants to do a permanent wall modification. In essence it’s to rebuild the outside walls and the windows and improve energy efficiency.”

Friley Residence Hall – Dining Renovation

Another item on the agenda is an estimated $5 million project to renovate an inactive dining section of Friley Residence Hall to a food court style dining center.

This new area would include more student dining space, storage rooms and an additional exterior entry to Friley in response to increased enrollment and the increased demand on food service.

“The initial studies indicate that location is convenient,” Madden said. “One of the groups that could use that is Towers. The Towers don’t have a real food service out there right now. You’ve got hundreds of students coming onto campus for dining, so that location would be convenient.”

New off-campus residence agreement

Iowa State hopes to sign an off-campus housing agreement with The Ridge at Fountainview L.C. for the 2014-15 academic year. Part of Jensen Properties, the location would provide 16 apartment buildings, or 564 beds. The property is located in West Ames on Walton Drive and Maricopa Drive near the already rented area for students and is proposed to cost $2,932,308 annually.

The buildings consist mostly of two- and three-bedroom units and some one- and four-bedroom units. Students require the same criteria as in Frederiksen Court: must be 19 or in their second year of college in order to live in the area.

If approved by the board, students can sign the lease for the following fall 2014 semester, Pete Englin, director of department of residence, said. 

Iowa State is also looking to amend the lease on the existing student housing at Fountainview by adding a second one-year term beginning on Aug. 1 and ending July 31.

Jack Trice Stadium improvements

Redesigning the south end zone would replace and renovate current seating, upgrade the south video board and sound system and build additional club, suite and lounge seating.

The same project would also develop space between the stadium and Reiman Gardens. The green space would be used to improve the Reiman Gardens entry and the university’s south entry. The changes would mean a new parking lot for students’ vehicles.

With an already obtained lead gift of $25 million from the Reiman family, Iowa State estimates the project’s cost will not exceed $60 million. The remaining funds would come from private giving and the athletic department.

Iowa State Center Flat Space

The university also requests approval to proceed with project planning for the Iowa State Center Flat Space as an addition to the north side of the Scheman Building.

The $39 million project would be funded almost equally by the city of Ames and Iowa State University through private giving, naming rights and university resources.

The space could be used for both the Ames community and Iowa State organizations. As of right now, the university doesn’t have a large banquet room, and Madden said this project could be just that, seating around 1,000 people.

If the board approves, that means the university may proceed with project planning. The city of Ames is set to vote on the space on March 4.

“One reason for the timing of Iowa State asking to present to the board, is so that, if the voters did approve it, we wouldn’t have to wait until a later board meeting … to request board approval,” said Sheila Doyle Koppin, communications director for the board.

Koppin said the next step is unknown if Ames does not vote to approve the project.