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Release: Immediate

Iowa State Board of Regents accepts bid for new College of Medicine building

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa State Board of Regents has approved a bid of $40,430,000 from Knutson Mid-America of Iowa City for construction of the 213,000 square-foot Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MEBRF) at the University of Iowa. Knutson Mid-America submitted the lowest cost of six construction bids. The overall project budget is $56.8 million and this construction award keeps the project on target and within budget.

"We are extremely pleased that good bids were received and that we are within the budget targets set earlier," said Dr. Robert P. Kelch, dean of the College of Medicine. "This estimate places us squarely within the current financing parameters for the capital project. We are eager to begin construction of this critical new facility."

Construction will begin in 1999. The building is the centerpiece of a redesign of the health sciences campus. The redesign will include the relocation of Newton Road and the construction of an 800-space parking facility.

In addition, extensive renovations have been made to several buildings that comprise the health sciences campus, including Bowen Science Building and Westlawn. The entire health sciences campus project is the largest capital project ever undertaken by the UI.

The MEBRF, which is being designed by Payette Associates of Boston in conjunction with Baldwin White Architects of Des Moines, will be the flagship building for the college, serving as home for medical student education. It will also house state-of-the-art research laboratories. The building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2001.

The building will be financed by a combination of state support, private gifts, revenue bonds and other resources. UI President Mary Sue Coleman recognized the importance of the state's early financial commitment to this project and the high degree of leverage of that state support using private gifts and university earnings.

"These collective contributions make possible a transformation of our medical facilities, enabling us to provide the best medical education in the United States and likewise enabling our excellent faculty to compete successfully for bioscience and medical research opportunities," Coleman said.

The UI Foundation has embarked on a campaign, "Seeking Knowledge Through Healing," to raise $25 million, $15 million of which will be used to finance the MEBRF. The remainder will help establish scholarships and endow faculty positions.

Two major gifts to the campaign have already been announced. The Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine has made a gift of $3 million to establish the Roy J. Carver Molecular Science Research Center and the Sahai family of Webster City has given the UI Foundation $3.25 million for the Sahai Medical Education Center.