Separate from an $89.9 million initiative to replace Kinnick Stadium’s north end zone with new seating, concourses, and a premium club level, the University of Iowa this summer plans to spend another nearly $2 million on structural maintenance — mostly in the east stands.
The Board of Regents Office on Jan. 24 approved a $1.91 million budget for the project, which includes concrete restoration and repair, brick replacement and repair, sealant replacement, and installation of storm drains in the southeast plaza, according to a UI memo.
Most of the work is planned for the east stands — which now sit in the shadow of a new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital — although some upgrades are slated for the south and west stands as well.
The project, which the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will fund with gifts and income, stems from “regular maintenance and structural condition assessments” aimed at prolonging the “life, condition, and use of the facility,” according to UI Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz Lehnertz.
The university this week issued a request for construction bids for the project, setting deadlines in March. The UI request projects work will wrap Aug. 15, with the first Hawkeyes home game of the 2018 season scheduled for Sept. 1.
At the same time crews will conduct that general maintenance this summer, work will continue on a massive north end zone project that started in earnest in January. With demolition of the old north end zone out of the way, workers aim to complete new lower and upper bowl general admission seating and club seats before the 2018 season.
During the 2018 season, the department will erect temporary concessions and restrooms, as that area will remain under construction. The entire project is slated for completion before the 2019 season, according to the UI Athletic Department.
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The full Board of Regents didn’t have to approve this summer’s nearly $2 million in Kinnick upgrades, as it fell just below the level that triggers mandatory board review. Rather, Board of Regents Executive Director Mark Braun approved the work.
The full board OK’d the larger north end zone project in October 2016 — precipitating a “Kinnick Edge” fundraising campaign aimed at generating $25 million of the $89.9 million project cost.
The last time the university renovated Kinnick’s north end zone was in 1983. This upgrade will increase the number of high-end seats but decrease the stadium’s total capacity. Before construction, Kinnick sat 70,585 and the upgrades will decrease that to about 69,000.
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