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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Feb. 9, 2007

Athletics, Design projects move forward

by Anne Krapfl

Work on $19.5 million of improvements at Jack Trice Stadium would begin after the 2007 football season and wrap up in July 2008, under a plan presented Feb. 6 to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The board gave permission to continue planning and approved a budget and conceptual design for the project.

Athletics director Jamie Pollard presented an overview of the plan to the board. Due to changes in the football coaching staff and season-ticket pricing this winter, the athletics department held off on initiating a market survey (by an external firm), required to validate the proposed financing of the project. Pollard said that work will begin soon. The athletics department will share that with the regents in June, when it seeks approval for the project, including permission to sell bonds.

Improvements to Hilton Coliseum, including a basketball/volleyball practice addition, have been removed from the first phase of the athletics department's facilities master plan, but still are planned. Pollard said current financial projections wouldn't support any more debt beyond what is planned for the football stadium. Of the $19.5 million price tag on the stadium plan, $3.5 million would come from private gifts already pledged by donors and $16 million would be funded by facilities bonds. Pollard said increased revenues brought in by additional stadium suites, expanded club section and National Cyclone Club receipts will pay off the bond debt.

Stadium plans

On the west side of Jack Trice Stadium, the plan is to add 22 suites at the concourse level (for a total of 48 suites on the west side), enlarge two existing suites, install operable windows in all the suites, and replace the existing concession and restroom buildings. The new restroom, concession and retail shop areas would be partially built over the west berm, more than doubling the width of the west concourse.

On the east side of the stadium, the plan is to renovate the existing club section (adding restroom and concession areas) and demolish the center concession/restroom building.

College of Design addition

In other business, the regents approved a schematic design and budget ($6.25 million) for a two-story addition to the north side of the College of Design building. It will house design studio space (about 14,500 net square feet) and a prototyping lab. It will replace about 16,000 square feet in the center of the Armory the college uses for undergraduate studios.

Sustainable design practices, which minimize or eliminate a building's negative impact on the natural environment, are being used in the design and construction of the addition. It is being designed to reduce energy, water and resource consumption and use renewable construction materials.

Depending on private funding, the addition could have a vegetated "green" roof, which would lower cooling costs, extend the roof's life expectancy and reduce storm water discharge.

Design dean Mark Engelbrecht said students and faculty from the college have been involved in the process of designing the addition to make that process as educational as possible. The intent is to continue that involvement through the final design and construction, he said.

Construction costs will be paid by private gifts ($3.25 million), income from ISU Treasurer's temporary investments ($2.5 million) and the college ($0.5 million). Engelbrecht told regents the fund raising is about 80 percent complete and will wrap up in the next four months. Construction is expected to begin in September, with the addition in use by January 2009.

Minority student retention

The regents also directed the provosts at the three regent universities to assemble a task force to address retention of minority students. In the 2006 annual report to the board on student retention and graduation rates, retention of minority students continues to lag behind that of non-minority students, as high as 17 percentage points in one case. At Iowa State, the one-year retention rate for racial and ethnic minorities was essentially the same as for non-minorities. However, the six-year graduation rate was about 12 percentage points lower for minority students than non-minorities.

Members of the task force will survey their peers for best practices and successful strategies in retaining and graduating minority students. The task force will report back to the regents this fall.

The board also approved:

  • A name change for the department of health and human performance, to the department of kinesiology, to represent a national trend in this discipline.
  • A five-year charter for an Engineering Policy and Leadership Institute, housed in the College of Engineering and collaborating with campus units such as the departments of political science and educational leadership and policy studies and the Catt Center. A key goal of the institute is to increase engineers' involvement in national policies involving technology and in elected and appointed government roles.

Summary

The College of Design received final approval for its building addition and the athletics department got permission to continue planning renovations to Jack Trice Stadium during the Feb. 6 meeting of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.