Division of Student Affairs plans for Lynn Fuhrer Lodge

The Lynn Fuhrer Lodge resides on a piece of property that Iowa State purchased in August. The lodge was built at the end of WWI in memoriam of the ISU students who died.

Daniel Bush

Division of Students Affairs has started to renovate the recently purchased Lynn Fuhrer Lodge. The main plan is to use the lodge for student organizations.

The division purchased the land, 17.2 acres, during fall 2012 for $120,000, said Thomas Hill, senior vice president of Division of Student Affairs.

“There was some vandalism that was taking place at the property on a regular basis,” Hill said. “And so, staff went out and boarded up the windows and the doors to prevent folks from getting in it.”

Roger Graden, associate director for facilities of Iowa State Department of Residence, said students could use the lodge for meeting space, retreats or events.

“It’s so different,” Graden said, describing the area around the property. “It’s an isolated spot in the middle of town.”

The area is covered with woodland trees and trails leading all around the property.

The property is located in between other university-owned properties, Veenker Memorial Golf Course and the Applied Science Center.

Hill said the goal for the lodge to be up and running without any mishaps is July 1, 2013.

“We worked up a little plan to refurbish it, get it ready for use, put new finishes in it, insulate it, heat, ventilating/air conditioning system, a new septic system,” Graden said.

Lynn Fuhrer Lodge was named after an ISU student who was killed in World War II, Hill said.

A new lodge is in the plans for the property as well.

The Department of Residence and the Division of Student Affairs have been thinking of ideas for the placement and purpose of the new lodge.

“It’s the dream phase I would call it,” Graden said.

The new lodge won’t be up until funding starts to come in, Hill said. Approximately $12 million to $15 million will be needed to complete the project.

“Once that one is a reality, then that other lodge could really primarily be used by the ISU veterans,” Hill said.

The Des Moines YMCA owned the property before the purchase. They had no interest for use of the lodge, but wanted to maintain it as a natural area with little development, according to a proposal purchase by Iowa State.

One concern that was brought up were the views of the local neighborhood.

“We are working with the residents of the neighborhood to talk about what we are going to do, how we’re going to do it,” Hill said. “And I think we are in a good spot right now; they are getting more comfortable with what we are proposing.”

Beforehand, the YMCA rented out the lodge to groups in the community at a cost. ISU is making the lodge free to use under reservation.

“The only cost would be food,” Hill said.

Graden said the lodge would be a great asset for students to use and it is very close to campus for students to walk to.

“The only thing that it doesn’t offer is the overnight experience,” Hill said. “There maybe a time where we can add lodging facilities out there, but I don’t really see the need for it right away.”

The rules for the lodge will be relatively the same as YMCA had when they were renting the facility out to the community.

“Number one: It would be an alcohol-free facility,” Hill said. “And number two: It’s not a party location, it’s a student leadership retreat facility.”

Recognized student organizations will be allowed to reserve and use the facility for meetings, retreats or other various leadership retreat events.

“I think the students will enjoy it,” Hill said.

Graden agreed but added a concern for the feel of the property.

“I think the challenge really is going to be maintaining that feel,” Graden said, talking about the feel of the woodland area.