Plans not final in Kinnick north end zone project

Logistics remain a challenge in possible $75 million reconstruction

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CHICAGO — Iowa has yet to finalize plans for the Kinnick Stadium north end zone project, and Athletics Director Gary Barta said Tuesday the final price tag could exceed $75 million.

One year after gaining Regents’ permission to plan for the renovation, the estimated cost has soared from its early $35-40 million estimate. Iowa officials still eye different schematic designs, and Barta does not have a date in which to bring final project details to Regents.

The logistic challenges are evident. Kinnick Stadium’s north end zone section rests within feet of Evashevski Drive, which separates the stadium from the university’s new transportation center and a major hospital parking garage. There’s little room to maneuver.

“There’s a lot of infrastructure that has to be done,” Barta said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. “You don’t know until you get in there about the sewer lines, the water lines, the structure. That’s all going on right now.

“I’m not an expert in architecture or engineering so that’s been one of the challenges. Because it’s a small footprint, we’re trying to get everything in there.”

Along with restrooms and other amenities, the north end zone possibilities include club seats, suites, loges and patio space. An undetermined number of bench seats and chair backs will be incorporated as well.

“We have the west side that offers a lot of different things so we’re trying to offer something for every fan. Whether you want to come in at the lowest price point and have a seat on a bench or you want to have the highest price point with a suite or a club seat, we’re trying to offer something that’s a little different than what we have on the side right now.”

As for other campus projects, Barta said the department will install a new indoor track this fall and a $5 million renovation to the Gerdin Learning Center also is planned. A proposed $85 million residence hall, which would house athletes and other students, is put on hiatus.

“We just built a new dorm a year ago,” Barta said. “We’re going to open another dorm on campus. So we didn’t get rid of the project, but we placed it on hold until we see what that impact is going to have on our campus.”

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