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Release: Immediate

UI presents regents with schematic drawings of new medical building

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa unveiled the architects' schematic drawings of the new medical education/biomedical research building at the State Board of Regents meeting Thursday, June 19, in Okoboji.

When the 203,000 square-foot building is completed in 2001, it will serve as the main building for the UI College of Medicine medical education programs. The lower two floors of the four-story structure will be dedicated to the education and training of doctors and other health professionals. The upper floors will house much-needed laboratory space for biomedical research. Preliminary plans call for some of that space to be dedicated to cancer research.

The medical education areas of the building will include a variety of instructional facilities, including interactive classrooms, a computer educational laboratory, study areas, a clinical skills assessment and training center, and four distinct student communities designed to foster an academic sense of place for medical students. There are currently no common areas where medical students gather. Instruction takes place in several buildings, some of them built in the 1920s.

The new building also will have a 250-seat auditorium and a 125-seat seminar room, both of which will be placed around a "Great Hall," a four-story space that connects the medical education and research programs. The building will be constructed of limestone, glass and metal. It is being designed by Payette and Associates of Boston, in conjunction with Baldwin White Architects, Des Moines

The building is part of a project which involves the entire eastern part of the UI health sciences campus. When completed, the health sciences campus will be unified through the use of quadrangle spaces defined by buildings, walkways and landscaping. It will feature a major east-west walkway lined with trees.

Last spring, the Iowa Legislature appropriated $27 million to begin the project, which will be funded by a combination of state money and private contributions. It is the largest capital project ever undertaken by the UI.

The UI also presented to the regents the first drawings of the six-level, 800-space parking facility that will be located directly north of the new building. Included in the parking facility will be a 5,000-ton central chilled water plant. The parking facility and chilled water plant are other parts of the project, which also includes the demolition of the Steindler Building, the relocation of Newton Road, and extensive renovations to Westlawn. A large part of the project entails the consolidation and relocation of utility lines that serve current buildings on the health sciences campus to allow for the construction of the new building.