SPORTS

UI asks Regents for approval of $35 to $45 million renovation of Kinnick north stands

A sports-oriented residence hall and a new indoor track facility and a possible $150 million price tag

during the first half of their Big Ten Conference NCAA college football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on S
during the first half of their Big Ten Conference NCAA college football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa athletics department plans to spend as much as $45 million to renovate the north stands in Kinnick Stadium, the school revealed in a proposal Tuesday to the Board of Regents.

The project would renovate the north stands and the related concourse area of Kinnick. The 30-year-old north stands have remained unchanged since the original 1980s construction. In the document, Iowa deemed the north stands as “functionally obsolete by modern-day standards.”

UI estimates the project costs to range from $35 million to $45 million “depending upon the scope of work identified.” Project funding would be provided by athletics department gifts and earnings.

Along with the north end zone seating upgrade, Iowa athletics also will introduce its “long-term” vision for facilities. This also will include a west campus residence hall and a new location for indoor track and field.

The residence hall project would come with an $85 million price tag, according to estimates from the UI. The new hall would offer housing for first-year and returning students. It would be located near Kinnick Stadium and the West Campus Transportation Center. The UI’s housing and dining and athletics departments would coordinate planning and programming of the facility to accommodate a wide range of student and student-athlete campus living needs.

The project would create approximately 500-600 suite-style beds. A dining venue and athletic training table, standard resident amenities and other small event spaces would be included. The estimated project cost (based upon recent residence hall projects) of $85,000,000 would be funded by dormitory revenue bonds and athletics department gifts and earnings. The UI, however, has noted that costs for this project may exceed recent residence hall projects due to the inclusion of additional support venues which may include: dining/training table facilities and equipment, learning resources, event spaces, and site transportation improvements.

This sounds sort of like a sports “village” area, but NCAA regulations and UI on-campus housing objectives will keep the mix at least 50/50 with student-athletes and student residents.

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Another west campus addition the UI athletics department proposed Tuesday was a new indoor track and field facility. This project would provide space for track/running related sports and provide training and weather-protected space for all sports. The cost for this has been estimated at $15 to $20 million and also would be funded by athletics department gifts and earnings.

Kinnick had a nearly $90 million renovation done in 2005-06, which included luxury seating options. This project is eyeing more suites and premium seating options along with these improvements:

— Fixing all seating issues

— Improving concourse amenities

— Increasing audio/visual technology and “branding” throughout

— Creating spaces with modern amenities such as plazas and patios

— Modernizing restroom facilities

— Updating food-service/vending options

— Developing additional resource opportunities for nongame day events/programs

— Improving accessibility for fans

— Improving the flow of spectators within and around the north side of the stadium

The UI has proposed to keep the design/construction team that completed previous work at Kinnick in place to help with an efficient time frame, which wasn’t outlined in the document or in a UI post on the subject. The UI requested permission to use the local design firm of Neumann Monson with assistance from national consultant HNTB, and construction manager M.A. Mortenson Company to assist with development of the schematic design and budget, with the option to continue development of detailed design and construction documents pending approval of the schematic design and budget by the Board. From the document, “The proposed team was selected after a search for consultants for the south end zone and press box projects. The firms are very familiar with the entire stadium complex and existing building systems.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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