View news from this page and other flood-related resources at the UI Flood Recovery Web site.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Law students clean up flood damage in Cedar Rapids

A group of University of Iowa law students will help clean up flood damage in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 1, following up on the work of 70 other law students earlier in the fall. Iowa law students have made three previous trips to the city, where they mucked out and gutted flood damaged buildings and helped clean a playground. Students also went door-to-door leaving fliers with information about Iowa Legal Aid and how flood victims can protect their legal rights.

"The students worked their hearts out," said Brian Farrell, director of the law school's Academic Achievement Program, who accompanied one group. Many students were shocked at the damage.

"I was really amazed because it was the first time I had seen the devastation done to Cedar Rapids," said law student Brian Shust. "I think the thing that sticks out most is seeing toy stuffed animals, dirty and torn, just littered about houses and streets. That is an image that will stay with me as I pray for those people. I am glad that I got the chance to make a small difference in Cedar Rapids." Full story...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

President Mason activates steam whistle to mark UI Power Plant return

University of Iowa President Sally Mason pushed the red button that sounds the familiar steam whistle at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 28, marking the return to full operation of the UI Power Plant. The whistle, which blows to mark the hours of 8 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except holidays), had been silent since June, when the Iowa River flooded the plant. (Photo by Tim Schoon, UI Office of University Relations)

Flood Recovery Update Memo

TO: Robert Donley

FROM: Doug True

RE: Flood of 2008 – Status

DATE: October 24, 2008

This is an update of the October 6 flood status report. Next week an oral report will be provided to the Iowa Board of Regents at its meeting.

To view a UI Flood Building Major Projects Progress update, visit

Power Plant Update

The University is optimistic that the goal of bringing the Main Power Plant back on line by November 1 will be met. Boiler #11, one of two solid fuel boilers at the Main Power Plant, has successfully been restarted. This boiler burns both coal and oat hulls. Since being energized there have been two occasions when the boiler was “tripped”, but the problems were addressed and the outages short-lived. Solid fuel boiler #10 is expected to be energized this week (Friday, October 24) or early next. Each solid fuel boiler produces approximately 170,000 pounds of steam per hour. The reliability of these units is critical for winter operations at the University.

The Main Power Plant’s two natural gas fired boilers have been operational since early October. These boilers each produce approximately 100,000 pounds of steam per hour. By contrast, the temporary boilers engaged immediately after the flood each produce ~60,000 pounds of steam per hour. Given the expected operational challenges due to the length of time the solid fuel boilers were idle, Power Plant operators anticipate utilizing the natural gas fired boilers to a greater degree than in past years. Shortly after boiler #10 is back in service, the University intends to disassemble the temporary, rented boiler located behind Burge Residence Hall and relocate it to the west campus. This temporary boiler will be co-located with the other temporary boiler serving UIHC in a winterized facility near the west campus chilled water plant. These units will serve as additional back-up for the health care campus through the winter.

Work on the steam distribution system continues to provide needed service and redundancy. Projects to “direct bury” steam lines on the east and west campuses are nearing completion. The new line through the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center construction site is expected to be tested and made available next week; the new direct bury steam line near Rienow and Slater Halls on the west campus is progressing on schedule. The steam lines (via tunnel system) providing service to the IMU and Iowa Advanced Technology Labs have been energized. Steam service will also soon be available through the tunnel system to buildings on the Arts Campus as well. However, heating (mechanical) systems within certain flood affected buildings have not been recovered. Therefore the University will be utilizing the services of Munters Corporation to provide temporary heating in some buildings on campus.

Facilities Management personnel are meeting with Stanley Consultants, HBK, Inc of Chicago (tunnel consultant), and Shive-Hattery to develop a system of bulk-head barriers to protect the Main Power Plant from inundation of flood waters through the utility tunnel system. It is the University’s intent to have these protective barriers in place by June 2009.

Other Flood Related Matters

The University has established an “Interim Solutions” committee to assess the intermediate term needs (1 to 3 years) of departments displaced by the flood. Representatives from the Provost’s Office, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Facilities Management and Risk Management serve on the committee. Issues currently before this committee include evaluating additional intermediate-term options for the School of Music and the School of Art and Art History. Both Schools are in temporary quarters; however, some better options for facilities will need to be developed for extended temporary use.

The University has submitted “business interruption” claims with its insurance carrier – FM Global. Claims from UIHC and the Faculty Practice Plan have been processed, and we are expecting a $4 million payment within the next week.

Financing – the University continues to work with representatives of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to process the necessary paperwork (project worksheets or “PW’s”) to obtain reimbursement for flood-related expenses. (The attached two-page document summarizes the status of buildings affected by the flood as well as programmatic and funding issues). The expeditious processing of these claims is crucial to avoid cash flow problems. I will be reporting to the Board next week the status of FEMA’s response to University reimbursement needs.

Please let me know if you or Board members have questions.


C: Regent Miles
Regent Evans
President Mason
Joan Racki

Friday, October 24, 2008

UI begins preparing arts campus, Iowa Memorial Union for winter

About 50 1,000-gallon liquid propane (LP) gas tanks are being installed on the University of Iowa's west arts campus and near the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) this week as part of an effort to prepare buildings flooded this summer for winter weather, ongoing mitigation work and possible future reoccupation. (more)

Mason to sound steam whistle Oct. 28 to mark power plant restoration

At noon Tuesday, Oct. 28, the University of Iowa power plant -- with the help of UI President Sally Mason -- will sound its steam whistle for the first time since June 13, when the Iowa River flooded the facility and silenced the familiar sound. The blow will mark the power plant's return to full operation. (more)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ongoing efforts of faculty, staff assist University in flood recovery, future planning

The phrase “other duties as assigned” is a common component of job descriptions. But few would have envisioned some of the “other duties” taken on by UI employees this past summer. And while some were assigned, many were simply taken up on the fly, in the face of rising waters.

The tales of this past summer’s flood heroics and the Hawkeye Spirit are legion. The three people profiled here will be the first to tell you, in that typically Iowa way, that they were just one of the many, many people who rose to the occasion and went well beyond it; who found themselves doing work they never imagined in areas in which they had little previous experience. fyi chose to interview them in part because of their visibility during the flood, but also for their ongoing efforts in helping the University deal with the flood’s aftermath and the planning for the future. More...

'Buildings' again ranks Facilities Management among top 10 in country

For the fourth year in a row Buildings magazine has ranked University of Iowa Facilities Management among the 10 most proactive and innovative infrastructure managers in the nation. And its editors praised the department for tackling new projects while contending with the worst flood in the university's history. (more)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

UI President Mason will address 2008 Joint Service Club luncheon Thursday

University of Iowa President Sally Mason will discuss ongoing flood recovery and mitigation efforts, and the university's new strategic initiatives, during the annual Joint Service Club luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at Hotel Vetro in downtown Iowa City.

Tickets are sold out for the event. However, UI Television will record and broadcast the event on Monday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 4 a.m. and 5 p.m.; and Friday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. Additional broadcasts are planned and will be announced later.

The Iowa City Noon Rotary Club sponsors the annual event. The group's current president, University of Iowa Community Credit Union President Jeff Disterhoff, will make opening remarks; Bob Downer, a member of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will introduce the program; and Regents President David Miles will introduce Mason.

The annual speech by the UI president to members of area service clubs is a long-standing Iowa City tradition and is designed to strengthen the "town-gown" relationship between the university and Johnson County communities.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Reese at 319-335-3305.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A table will be set up in the back of the room for news media wishing to cover this event. Direct questions to Stephen Pradarelli, director of University News Services, at 319-384-0007.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Margaret Reese, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305,; Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

University of Iowa Museum of Art works return to campus

Nearly 250 works of art from the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) permanent collection are now available for viewing by appointment, thanks to a collaboration between the Museum of Art and University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections.

This broad cross-section of prints, drawings and photographs will be stored in Special Collections, located on the Third Floor of the UI Main Library.

"The Museum of Art's top priority since the flood has been to find creative ways to make selections from the collection available for UI classes," said UIMA Chief Curator Kathleen Edwards, who chose the works to return to campus with input from UI faculty. "We are grateful that Special Collections can accommodate these key works and work with the UIMA on student and faculty access."

The 197 prints, 38 photographs and 13 drawings are the first works from the museum's collection to return to campus since the June floods forced evacuation of the building and removal of the collection to art storage in Chicago.

Instructors at the UI and other schools may make appointments for their classes to view selections from the group in a classroom adjacent to Special Collections. Individuals, including students, may make appointments to see specific works in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please contact Nathan Popp, UIMA curatorial graduate assistant, at for more information or to set up a Special Collections visit. Visit the UIMA Web site at for a link to a list of available works.

At least one class has already made use of the selection. On Oct. 2 students enrolled in "History of Prints" taught by UI art history faculty member Julie Hochstrasser were able to view and interact with 55 of these prints under Edwards' supervision.

"The opportunity for students to see these original artworks is an essential and tremendously rich component of their art historical education," Hochstrasser said.

"They have read about these prints in their textbook, and they have seen them in lecture as digital projections, but there is quite simply no substitute for the real thing. This is our 'lab.' This is what it's really all about. We are enormously grateful that we have been able to continue with some semblance of business as usual."

The remainder of the museum's permanent collection remains in storage in Chicago. Several members of the UIMA staff visited the storage and conservation facilities in late August and left feeling optimistic. Limited access to the collection will likely be available for class use, research and future exhibition and educational planning.

In addition, new purchases and gifts to the UIMA collections can be stored in these facilities, ensuring the continued growth and vitality of the museum's collections during this transitional time.

The UI Museum of Art was evacuated from its building in June due to the flood. Some exhibitions and events slated to be held at the UIMA have been moved to alternate venues. For more information on the UI Museum of Art and the latest schedule information visit

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Maggie Anderson, Museum of Art, 319-335-1739,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

UI names flood mitigation task force to advise on campus changes

The University of Iowa has appointed a 14-member flood mitigation task force that will serve as the university community's voice in planning changes to reduce the risk from future Iowa River flooding.

The task force of faculty and staff members will meet through the fall with numerous faculty, staff and student constituencies to hear their thoughts and concerns about possible actions that might be taken.

In March, the task force will report its findings and conclusions to University of Iowa President Sally Mason, as well as share them with consultants from Ayres Associates and Sasaki Associates, two firms that are advising the university on flood mitigation planning.

"Part of our role is to serve as a conduit for the university community, to gather their thoughts and communicate them to the consultants," said task force co-chair Gregg Oden, a professor of psychology and computer science who has chaired the university's Campus Planning Committee for the past five years.

The consultants will use those comments as one of their guides as they develop flood mitigation proposals, said committee co-chair Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering.

In addition, the task force will advise the university's administration on particular flood recovery and mitigation issues that might arise prior to the completion of the final plan, and contribute whatever additional input is appropriate regarding the rebuilding of the campus.

Among the task force's goals will be to consider means to reduce the risk of damage from future flooding in buildings flooded this summer while taking account of the needs of student services operations and research, instructional and artistic programs that were affected by the flood.

Weber and Oden said the task force will consider all options for future flood protection and mitigation, including structural changes to buildings, changes in occupancy, environmental and landscaping changes, and the role of insurance.

"But I hope we aren't too reactive to the flood," said Weber. "We still want to interact with the river on campus, but not from behind a 20-foot high wall. The Iowa River is one of the university's major assets and we hope to continue to engage with it."

Wallace Loh, executive vice president and provost, and Doug True, senior vice president and treasurer, appointed the task force. Other members of the task force include:

--Cheryl Reardon Hoogerwerf, assistant to the vice president for research.

--Joe Kearney, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts & Science.

--Lucie Laurian, assistant professor, Urban & Regional Planning.

--Lola Lopes, emeritus professor, Tippie College of Business.

--George Malanson, professor, Geography.

--Gene Parkin, professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering.

--John Beldon Scott, professor, Art & Art History.

--Mike Valde, environmental compliance manager.

The committee also includes the following ex officio members:

--Barbara Eckstein, associate provost, Office of the Provost.

--Don Guckert, associate vice president, Facilities Management.

--George Hollins, University Business Manager.

--Donna Pearcy, director, Office of Risk Management.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Gregg Oden, 319-335-2455,; Larry Weber, 319-335-5597,

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,

Iowa kids are helping kids affected by 2008 floods

A group of Iowa children is reaching out to help other Iowa children affected by the June 2008 floods.

"Kids Helping Kids in the Flood" will gather donations to help flood-affected children and distribute "The Flood That Came to Grandma's House" by Iowa author Linda Stallone. Used by schools and other organizations nationwide, the book helps children understand how floods occur, how families and communities are affected, and how they rebuild. The book also has a section for children to write or draw their own flood-related stories.

Support for "Kids Helping Kids" comes from University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City, Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, the Iowa chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Reach Out and Read-Iowa Coalition.

For more information contact Molly Olinger Topf at Reach Out and Read-Iowa at 515-991-0872 or