Board of Regents approves multiple Iowa State requests and live stream cuts short

Rod Lehnertz from the finance and operations department at the University of Iowa discusses the register of University of Iowa capital improvement business transactions at the Board of Regents meeting Feb. 27, 2019, in the Reiman Ballroom.

Jacob Smith

The Iowa Board of Regents approved multiple requests from Iowa State University, among them, renaming Music Hall after adjunct professor Simon Estes.

The meeting started at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday in the Board of Regents Office in Urbandale, Iowa, and was live streamed on the IowaRegents YouTube channel.

The Properties and Facilities Committee opened the meeting, and they discussed a request from Iowa State to proceed with the project planning for the East Gateway Bridge to be near Jack Trice Stadium.

“The project would build a gateway bridge over South University Boulevard, east of Jack Trice Stadium, and an elevated walkway connecting the bridge to the stadium’s east concourse,” according to the document. “Not only would it create a safer pedestrian route between the stadium and parking, but it would enhance entry into the ISU campus. The estimated project budget of $8 million to $12 million would be funded by Athletics Department Operations and Private Giving.”

Pam Cain, interim senior vice president for Operations and Finance, delivered remarks on behalf of ISU.

“There’s a significant amount of parking on the east side of University Boulevard, and this would also present a way to enhance the entrance to the university,” Cain said.

Additionally, the committee discussed approving the schematic design, project description and budget for pavement replacement in parking lots around campus.

The parking lots on campus are routinely measured and graded by Iowa State’s Facilities Planning & Management on a scale that assisted in proposing which lots needed improvements.

“This project would replace parking areas in three parking lots and install ADA parking improvements, while replacing select underground utilities,” according to the document. “The project budget of $3,830,000 would be funded by Institutional Roads Program Funds (DOT funds), ISU Parking, ISU Utilities and University Funds.”

Cain discussed why the funding is coming from many different areas.

“Part of the reconstruction of, at least Lot 54, is water main and sanitary line replacement and electrical improvement,” Cain said. “So that would be paid for by the utility systems.”

Then, the committee heard Iowa State’s third project request for improvements to be made to the Power Plant’s central control system.

“That will replace and reconfigure the station’s power system within the university power plant,” Cain said. “It will be done in multiple phases over multiple years.”

Within the current power plant, the equipment is obsolete and does not meet safety requirements, according to the document.

“This project would replace the 50-year-old ‘station power system,’ the Power Plant’s central control system, using 12 phases of construction through 2027,” according to the document. “The project budget of $16 million would be funded by the Utility Repair Fund and the Utility Infrastructure Fund.”

Another request from ISU was to rename Music Hall on campus.

The proposed name was “Simon Estes Music Hall” after Adjunct Professor Dr. Simon Estes of the Music and Theatre department.

“Simon Estes, 81, is an adjunct professor of music and The F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Artist in Residence in the Department of Music and Theatre at Iowa State University. He is an internationally acclaimed opera vocalist, humanitarian and philanthropist,” according to the document.” “[…] At the age of 81, Dr. Estes has and continues to bring tremendous pride to the state of Iowa and Iowa State University.”

All of the projects were approved by unanimous consent by the committee and approved by the Board in the consent agenda.

University presidents and the school superintendent for Iowa School for the Deaf then gave their reports to the Board, highlighting recent institutional activities.

While Steve Gettel, superintendent of Iowa School for the Deaf, was giving his report to the Board, people claiming to be from Iowa Student Action began shouting over him.

“We are from Iowa Student Action,” said an unidentified individual offscreen. “We are a group of a movement of students across Iowa who know that education is a human right. Everyone of—”

The live stream then was silenced and displayed a screen that said: “Meeting will resume shortly.”

The live stream was never moved off that screen for the last hour of the meeting, which blocked viewers from watching President Wendy Wintersteen’s report to the Board.

The next meeting of the Board of Regents will be from April 1 to April 2 at Iowa State.