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Release: October 1, 2002

University Of Iowa To Break Ground For New Art Building Oct. 4

A groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Iowa's new building to house the School of Art and Art History has been set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. The groundbreaking event will be held at the site of the new building, just west of the existing Art Building on Riverside Drive and adjacent to a small lagoon and a limestone cliff. The event is open to the public.

Gov. Tom Vilsack will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, which will mark the official beginning of work on the three-story building. Board of Regents member Amir I. Arbisser, UI Interim President Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd, and UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Linda Maxson also will make brief remarks.

Dorothy Johnson, director of the School of Art and Art History; Martin Cox and Li Ho from Steven Holl Architects; Rod Kruse from Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture of Des Moines; and Michael New, president of the University of Iowa Foundation, will also be introduced.

There will be a public reception immediately following in space adjacent to Room E109 in the UI Art Building.

Steven Holl Architects of New York is designing the new building in conjunction with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture of Des Moines, a firm which last year was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects highest firm honor, the Architecture Firm Award.

Holl, who was featured as "America's Best" architect in a July 2001 issue of Time magazine, has designed a number of award-winning buildings, including the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota, Bellevue Art Museum in Washington state, the Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Among his other current projects is a major addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

The new building will house classrooms, studios, the new Art Library, gallery space and both faculty and administrative offices. The building's exterior will be constructed of a metal material whose red color will relate to the brick of the nearby existing art building.

The building is expected to cost $21.5 million, of which about $16 million has been appropriated by the State of Iowa and more than $5 million will come from gifts to the project, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The building is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2005.