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Release: Immediate

University of Iowa smokestack will be dismantled

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A 75-year-old smokestack at The University of Iowa powerplant will be dismantled over the next few months, university officials announced. Work on the stack is expected to begin March 10 and be finished by early June.

The 210-foot smokestack, believed to have been built around 1922, once served boilers that provide steam for heating university buildings and many other uses in the university and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A study by outside consultant Wiss Janney Elsner Associates of Northbrook, Ill. concluded that the stack, which has been out of use for about a year, has reached the end of its useful life. There are currently no plans to replace it.

The stack has an inside diameter of 9 feet 6 inches at the top and widens at the base. Work will be carried out by Curry Environmental Services, Inc. of Milan, Ill. and subcontractor Gerard Chimney Co. of St. Louis, Mo., an international chimney maintenance and demolition company. Shive Hattery Inc. of Iowa City is project consultant.

A thin coating of asbestos on the outside of the stack requires that the entire project conform with applicable Iowa and federal laws and regulations. The university and its contractors have acquired necessary permission from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR will be videotaping part of the work to use in a training film for asbestos workers.

Peregrine falcons expected to be released from a nesting box on an adjoining physical plant building will probably not be troubled by the workers, university officials said, because the stack will be mostly down by the time the nestlings are ready to fly. Nevertheless, the university will monitor the work and the falcons and take appropriate measures to see that the falcon project is not disrupted.