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Release: March 23, 2001

NCS Pearson unit will locate on UI Oakdale Research Park

CORALVILLE, Iowa -- NCS Pearson will be the anchor tenant for a new $4 million facility called the Corridor Technology Center that will be constructed on the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park in Coralville.

NCS Pearson is a provider of applications, services and technologies for educational testing, assessment and complex data management. NCS Pearson is a subsidiary of Pearson plc, a $6 billion international media company. Its assessment division, originally established as Measurement Research Center (MRC), was an early spin-off from research activities in the UI College of Education.

The developer, TMD, L.L.C. of Solon will ask the Coralville City Council next Tuesday night to approve tax increment financing of up to $420,000 that will enable the construction project to go forward.

"This project will contribute to our property tax base and help create the kind of employment opportunities that are important to our city," said Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth.

Dick Schwab, a principal with the TMD development group and a former NCS Pearson executive, expects construction to begin in early April on a three-story, 37,500 square-foot office facility. The building exterior will highlight horizontal bands of a gray stucco-like finish accented at the corners and entries with full height blue reflective glass. He said a two-story, 25,000 square-foot second phase of the Corridor Technology Center project has already been planned, but no construction date has been set.

"We're very enthusiastic about this project. We are convinced that the research park is an ideal location for technology activities, and we are delighted that NCS Pearson will be our anchor tenant," said Schwab.

Barring any unforeseen construction delay, the first phase will be finished in the fall of 2001.

NCS Pearson will leverage the Corridor Technology Center space to provide for expanding software development and project management activities. Schwab said the facility will be designed to accommodate between 50 and 70 employees per floor, with potential capacity of 350 employees when both phases are complete.

"The fact that the developers have designated their project as the 'Corridor Technology Center' speaks volumes about the central location of the research park in the corridor linking Iowa City and Coralville with Cedar Rapids," said Steve Kromer, vice president of NCS Pearson in Iowa City.

The project is planned for a 5.98-acre lot south of Oakdale Boulevard and east of Crosspark Road. Land lease negotiations between TMD and the Oakdale Research Park are nearing completion.

"We are pleased that the developers and NCS Pearson took the initiative to seek us out and ask to explore opportunities for them on our Park. It's a very good fit for us and, we hope, for NCS Pearson as well," said Bruce Wheaton, director of the UI Oakdale Research Park.

Shive-Hattery, Inc. of Iowa City is the project architect, while Selzer Werderitsch Associates of Iowa City is the prime contractor.

The Oakdale Research Park, established in 1989, provides corporations with easy, sustained access to relevant research resources of the University of Iowa.

For more information contact: Dick Schwab, TMD (319) 644-3768; Steve Kromer, NCS Pearson (319) 339-6561; W. Bruce Wheaton, Oakdale Research Park (319) 335-4063; and Kelly Hayworth, Coralville City Administrator (319) 351-1266.