CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558
UI to celebrate re-opening of Schaeffer Hall with Oct. 16 ceremony
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For nearly a century Schaeffer Hall has been the
heart of undergraduate education at the University of Iowa. Now, following
a two-year, $8.6 million renovation project, the UI will celebrate its
re-opening with a ceremony attended by Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and
Iowa Board of Regents President Owen J. Newlin.
The ceremony will be Thursday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m. on the east steps
of Schaeffer Hall. On hand to welcome Branstad and Newlin will be UI President
Mary Sue Coleman, Dean of Liberal Arts Linda Maxson, and Associate Dean
of Liberal Arts John Fix. Sheldon Stromquist, professor and chair of history,
will speak on behalf of the faculty.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony and a reception immediately
afterward. All interested persons are also invited to take self-guided
tours of the building.
"The renovation of Schaeffer Hall is a splendid example of how
to modernize a campus landmark," said Coleman. "Schaeffer Hall's
classrooms now support the latest technology in teaching, and yet we have
preserved the building's classic beauty.
"It's the perfect setting for a liberal arts education, and we
want everyone to see it," she added.
Schaeffer Hall originally opened Jan. 23, 1902. It was named for Charles
Schaeffer, the UI's seventh president. Ironically, Schaeffer never laid
eyes on the building. His sudden death in September 1898 came shortly
after groundbreaking ceremonies for what was to be called the Collegiate
Building, which he had convinced the State Legislature to fund.
State support was crucial for the renovation project as well. "We
owe a debt of gratitude to our Board of Regents, the Governor and the State
Legislature for recognizing the importance of this project to our teaching
mission," Coleman said.
"We are also fortunate to have private support for the project
as well," she added. Robert J. Myers of Silver Spring, Md., has funded
the Bob and Dody Myers Computing Laboratory in Statistics and Actuarial
The renovated Schaeffer Hall is once again home of the office of the
dean of the college of liberal arts, the UI's largest college with more
than 16,000 undergraduate students. The building also houses four departments:
classics, history, political science, and statistics and actuarial science.
These are some of the highlights of the renovation project:
· Classrooms now have computer workstations and computer projectors
for using on-line educational resources. But chalkboards, including some
of the 100-year-old original slate boards, have also remained.
· Seminar-like seating for small-group discussions has replaced
uniform rows of desk chairs.
· Each academic department has a conference room for meetings
· Faculty offices that varied in size from 80 square feet to
300 square feet are now more uniform in size.
· Fire safety has been addressed through automatic fire doors
that don't sacrifice the building's openness.
· Accessibility needs have been met by a new elevator.
· The complete exterior was sandblasted, the interior was virtually
gutted, and all the old window air conditioners were removed to allow for
new central air conditioning.
· The building was rewired for electrical service. In addition,
more than 15 miles of computer and telephone cable were installed.
· The classic beauty of the building has been preserved with
restored and replaced oak woodwork and stone molding, refurbished faux
marble columns, and lighting, color and decorating schemes that coordinate
through the building.