Board of Regents to consider RCA construction, new criminal justice major, rates

Richardson Court Dorms

Alex Hanson

The Iowa Board of Regents will meet Feb. 24 and 25 at Iowa State to consider several items, including bathroom remodeling at the Richardson Court dorms, rate increases for housing, meal plans and parking, as well as a proposal for a new criminal justice major.

The Feb. 24 meeting will take place in the Executive Board Room of the Alumni Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. approximately, while the Feb. 25 meeting will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. approximately in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Richardson Court construction

The board will consider hiring a third party to complete upgrades of bathroom facilities in dorms in the Richardson Court neighborhood, which includes Birch, Welch, Roberts, Barton, Lyon and Freeman residence halls.

Bathrooms in the dorms have community showers that are not Americans with Disabilities accessible, which will be addressed with construction. The project would also add more privacy to the showers and upgrade lighting to improve energy use.

Because of the demand for housing, the university is unable to take specific areas of dorms or rooms offline, so construction cannot take place during the school year. The board needs to hire a third party to complete construction during the summer, a relatively short time for the amount of work being done, according to regent documents. 

The $3.8 million estimated cost would be funded by Dormitory System Funds. 

Iowa State is also requesting an additional $8 million for construction being done at Bessey Hall and the Advanced Teaching and Research Building because of extra costs that were not projected. 

New criminal justice major

The board will consider a request by Iowa State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to establish a new bachelor of arts program in criminal justice.

The proposed program will transition from an interdisciplinary studies major to a standalone program, “which will enhance the visibility of this sought after program,” according to regent documents.

The proposed major has already been reviewed by the Board Office and the Council of Provosts and is recommended for approval.

Criminal justice classes are already available at Iowa State, but students interested in the program take one of the tracks in the college’s interdisciplinary studies major. 

The projected enrollment is 420 students in the first year, increasing to 540 students by the seventh year, according to the regents.

Rates for housing

The regents will hear a report on the residence hall system for all three state schools. Construction of a new dorm near the existing Buchanan Hall at Iowa State will be completed and add 784 beds beginning in spring 2017.

The five-year plan being presented to the board states that all housing space is expected to be filled. DOR expects about 12,320 students to be living in university housing in the 2016-2017 school year, down 500 from this year because of den space being closed.

Iowa State will continue to lease off-campus spaces in University West and Legacy Tower in Campustown through the summer of 2017, when leases expire. The board will consider extending the lease beyond that date.

Iowa State is proposing an increase to most fees for student housing. Most dorm rooms, single and double, and with or without air conditioning, would increase about 3.5 percent. Eaton and Martin Hall rates would increase about 2 percent.

Frederiksen Court, University West and Legacy apartment rates would increase about 3.5 percent, while Schilletter and University Village rates would increase about 2 percent. 

Summer rates would also increase about 2 or 3.5 percent, depending on the location. 

A full list of proposed rates is available here

Rates for meal plans

Iowa State is also requesting an increase to rates for meal plans, which are required for students living in some dorms and recommended for most students living in university apartments. 

Students who buy a meal plan, which includes a set amount of meals and dining dollars, would see an increase between 3.20 and 3.76 percent, depending on which plan they buy. The default “gold” plan, 225 meals and $200 dining dollars, would increase 3.59 percent, or $136 dollars a year.

Meal blocks, which are popular among students who eat on campus less frequently than those living in dorms, would increase by about 4 percent.

Standalone dining dollar rates will stay the same under Iowa State’s proposal.

A full list of proposed rates is available here.

Parking rates

Iowa State is requesting about a 3.5 percent increase across the board for parking. 

For example, students who buy parking passes in residence hall parking lots would see a $5 increase in their passes. The 3.5 percent increase raises the cost to $148 from the current rate of $143.

Metered parking lot rates would not increase, but standalone meters on campus would increase from $0.50 per hour to $0.75 per hour, a 50 percent increase.

Commuter parking at the Iowa State Center and the CyRide Orange Route shuttle would remain free. 

Additional revenue will be used to construct a new parking lot on the northeast side of campus and upgrade current lots, according to regent documents.

A full list of proposal rates for parking is available here.

The full agenda is available at or can be picked up in 1750 Beardshear Hall.