Carver Hall, Union Drive renovation projects approved

Emily Sickelka

Carver Hall will get a face lift after approval of a $2 million proposal for renovation during a Board of Regents teleconference Wednesday.

After the College of Business moved to the newly constructed Gerdin Business Building, there was space in the building, allowing more room for the English and mathematics departments.

An increase request in the budget of the reconstruction of the Union Drive/Knoll Road intersection passed, but Regent Robert Downer of Iowa City asked why the budget increased from $1.7 million to $1.9 million. Downer said the project’s initial budget in Sept. 2002 had been $980,000.

Vice President for Business and Finance Warren Madden said since the road is on state property, it must meet standards of the Department of Transportation.

“We don’t believe there are less costly design changes that can be made and meet their standards,” he said. Initial estimates hadn’t allowed for the full cost of elevating the road and reconstructing the bridge over College Creek.

Board of Regents Executive Director Greg Nichols also gave an update on the state legislature and Gov. Tom Vilsack’s proposal to expand sales taxes to pay for programs, including education.

Vilsack’s proposal included goals of funding faculty and staff salary increases and providing some tuition assistance.

“It was acknowledged in the address by the governor that the top priority issue this board has raised — funding faculty and staff [salary increases] — will be addressed in some way in the proposal,” Nichols said.

Board President Owen Newlin said all levels of education are important in the funding process. He said additional revenue gained from an expanded sales tax is needed by the regent universities. The regents’ next meeting will be Feb. 18—19 in Iowa City.