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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2008

UI begins preparing arts campus, Iowa Memorial Union for winter

About 50 1,000-gallon liquid propane (LP) gas tanks are being installed on the University of Iowa's west arts campus and near the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) this week as part of an effort to prepare buildings flooded this summer for winter weather, ongoing mitigation work and possible future reoccupation.

Munters Corp., which provided ventilation, humidity control and cooling to flood-damaged buildings this summer, is installing temporary heaters that are each fueled by one to three LP tanks while ongoing repairs and mitigation work continues. The heaters will remain in place until April 2009 or until the building heating systems become operational.

Hancher Auditorium, Theatre Building, Voxman Music Building, Art Building, Art Building West, Museum of Art and the IMU will all benefit from the temporary heating systems while they are evaluated for long-term flood prevention and use.

"We continue to pump water from the lower parts of some of the buildings and to dry things out as we determine how to mitigate damage from future flooding of the Iowa River," said senior engineer Ann Rosenthal, associate director with Facilities Management's Building and Landscape Services division. "At the same time, we are strictly complying with health and safety codes to ensure that both workers and occupants are protected."

Campus utilities employees and outside contractors, meanwhile, continue to work on reconnecting flood-affected buildings to the university's electrical grid, which will allow officials to remove the many temporary generators that have dotted the campus since June. Walkway lighting has been restored to the majority of the area.

Chain link fencing has been installed around much of the work area to limit access to authorized personnel. This fencing will be removed or altered from time to time as building occupancy changes. The fencing will also help define areas that pedestrians can expect snow removal. The sidewalks along North Riverside Drive and those leading from the west side parking lots to the Hancher footbridge will all be maintained.

Measures are also being taken to further secure still unoccupied buildings, to prevent freezing and to reduce heating costs. Those measures include applying rigid insulation over presently unused ventilation intakes, applying rigid insulation or plywood protection over damaged windows, draining the domestic water systems, and repairing and restoring fire alarm/protection systems.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ann Rosenthal, Facilities Management-Building and Landscape Services, 319-335-5823,; Allan Culbert, Facilities Management-Building and Landscape Services, 319-335-5098,; Stephen Pradarelli, University News Services, 319-384-0007,