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Iowa State Daily

University requesting changes to CYTown plans

Jacob Rice
CyTown construction site, Jack Trice Way, April 24.

Changes to the CYTown plan, the diversity, equity and inclusion report and a strategic plan update headline the agenda set for the November Board of Regents meeting.

Here’s what to know heading into the two-day meeting in Cedar Falls:

Iowa State University capital improvement business transactions

The university will request approval from the board of a revised project description and budget for CYTown for parking and infrastructure improvements, increasing cost by 32.3% to $37.7 million from what was approved at $28.5 million in 2022.

Information detailing the proposed Phase 2 finances as outlined in Board of Regents documents. (Courtesy of Iowa Board of Regents)
  • Phase 2 of the project would finish all parking and utility infrastructure and would complete the establishment of the corridor that will host the buildings of the planned entertainment district. The project would also relocate the CyRide transit hub located in the lot. 
  • The cost increase is mostly attributed to the construction line item. 
  • As with Phase 1, Phase 2 would also raise the grounds of the parking lots yet to be completed five feet above the flood plain of Ioway Creek.
  • “The existing parking lots have multiple maintenance issues and need replacement. Phases 1 and 2 would improve 4,200 parking stalls serving the Iowa State Center, Jack Trice Stadium and parking for approximately 2,000 daily commuters,” regents documents state.
  • The source of funds, not independently identified by amount, are listed as ISU Athletics Department, private giving and university funds. 

The university also requests the board approve the project description and budget for Phase 2 of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. 

  • Approval means permission to move forward with construction, which is estimated to be completed in fall 2026.
  • Phase 1 of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is slated to be completed in early 2024, according to regents documents, delayed from previous reports that the project would finish in fall 2023. 
  • The project would add 78,500 square feet to the Phase 1 project and is estimated to cost $66.5 million. Funding would come from state and local fiscal recovery funds ($40 million), state appropriations ($18 million), university funds ($6.5 million) and private giving ($2 million). 
  • Phase 2 would “co-locate all remaining VDL functions under one roof, including diagnostic research activities, laboratory testing sections and administrative staff, all currently across the street in the College of Veterinary Medicine,” according to the agenda item description. The document continued, “The additional space provided by VDL Phase 2 would generate safer biocontainment and biosafety, optimal process flow of samples, more functional space relationships and create critical program space needed to meet growth. Also, it would provide additional space to integrate diagnostic medicine education.”
Phase 2 of the Vet Diagnostic Lab is up for approval by the Board of Regents for the design. The project is valued at $66.5 million. (Courtesy of the Board of Regents)

Iowa State is requesting permission to proceed with project planning for the Lloyd Veterinary Medicine – Pet Cancer Center Remodel and Addition project, Phase 2, a project estimated to cost up to $6.75 million, funded by university funds and private giving. 

  • The university will seek permission from the Board of Regents to plan for a project that would affect more than 5,000 square feet of space at the College of Veterinary Medicine, including 2,000 square feet of new space to house the clinic’s Comparative Oncology Center. 
  • The new build and the renovation of rooms and a corridor to develop the ISU Pet Cancer Clinic would “allow ISU to integrate hospital operations, generate workflow efficiencies and establish operational continuity,” according to regents documents

DEI study group report

The Board of Regents will receive and review the 65-page Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Study Group report

  • The report includes 10 recommendations for DEI at the regent institutions, including restructuring the central, university-wide DEI offices, restricting people from being “compelled to disclose their pronouns” and eliminating positions that are not “necessary for compliance, accreditation or student and employee support services,” as previously reported by the Daily
  • A response from Angie Hunt, news service director for strategic relations and communications, explained how the university will move forward: “Once the Board of Regents approves the final report, senior leaders will gather input from an internal advisory group to develop a response to the recommendations.”

ISU Custom Education Services Incentive Plan

A one-year pilot program, incentivizing staff to host seminars, will be presented to the board to be implemented as an official program.

  • The program, the Custom Education Services Incentive Plan, offers pay for faculty in the College of Business to host seminars, workshops and other educational services to corporate clients.
  • The College of Business established a pilot program in January, which will conclude in December. 
  • According to the college, the expertise of the College of Business faculty matches the content desired by companies and provides an opportunity to market graduate degree programs.
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Jacob Rice, Visual Editor
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