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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

University of Iowa resumes Beckwith Boathouse construction

Construction is set to resume on the new Beckwith Boathouse -- featuring a more flood-resistant design -- after a nearly four-month delay. The building project was suspended in June due to widespread flooding.

The UI, in coordination with local architect Neumann-Monson, has made design refinements to the project to ensure the new structure can withstand flooding threats to its Terrell Mill Park construction site on the Iowa River. The modified design will move building systems to the upper level and will fortify lower-level space to endure floodwaters.

"We are thrilled that we are able to continue work on this exciting new project, and that we were able to come together so quickly to make design modifications that address future flooding threats," said Rod Lehnertz, director of design and construction in UI Facilities Management. "We look forward in the months ahead to using a similar consultative process as we evaluate how to address and restore other UI buildings damaged by the flood."

The new design was reviewed and endorsed by UI officials, UI Flood Mitigation Task Force representatives, flood mitigation consultants, and the City of Iowa City. Miron Construction of Cedar Rapids has the construction contract and indicated work on the site will begin immediately.

The boathouse will host the UI Women's Rowing Team, club rowing activities and community meeting space. The building project is significantly funded through gifts to the University, with a lead naming gift provided by P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., a former UI student-athlete and noted Des Moines surgeon. Beckwith Boathouse will incorporate sustainable design techniques and is planned to be a LEED-certified building. Construction work is expected to be completed in about a year.

The building project is a partnership between the UI and Iowa City. Terrell Mill Park is located on Dubuque Street across from the UI's Mayflower Residence Hall.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Rodney P. Lehnertz, UI Facilities Management, 319-353-2235,