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

October 13, 2004

Morrill fund raising meets goal, prep work under way

by Jason Menke, ISU Foundation, and Anne Krapfl

Contributions from more than 2,700 private donors account for the majority of the $9 million raised to renovate the 114-year-old Morrill Hall. The success of the fund raising was announced Oct. 8 during Homecoming events.

The project has appealed to a broad base of the university's alumni, friends and students. Two recent gifts -- a joint contribution from the ISU Alumni Association and MBNA Corp., and an increased commitment from the initiative's co-chairs, Lyle and Nancy Campbell -- took the initiative to the finish line.

Most recent gifts

At its last meeting, the alumni association's board of directors approved a $200,000 gift to the project -- $125,000 from the association's MBNA credit card revenues and $75,000 directly from MBNA.

"When our alumni come back to campus, they really enjoy seeing the campus landmarks they knew as students," said alumni association president Jeff Johnson. "We couldn't imagine central campus without Morrill Hall, and the board wanted to assist the university with keeping those memories alive for past, present and future generations of Iowa Staters."

The fund-raising effort began and ended with the Campbells, Paradise Valley, Ariz. Lyle Campbell is a 1966 agricultural business graduate. In January 2003, the Campbells started the initiative with a commitment of $1 million. They recently increased their gift by $200,000, which completes the effort.

"We owe a great deal to Lyle and Nancy Campbell," said President Gregory Geoffroy. "Without their leadership and financial commitment, an important Iowa State landmark might have been lost forever."

The three tenants for a reconstructed Morrill Hall will be: University Museums' Christian Petersen Art Museum, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and a new Center for Visual Learning in Textiles and Clothing.

Morrill Hall renovation

Where the money came from
$7.4 millionprivate gifts
$0.85 millionstate capitals appropriation for general use classrooms
$0.75 millionISU building repair funds
$9 millionTotal


Work at Morrill this fall

In his convocation address last month, Geoffroy said he authorized the university to move forward with reconstruction. Demolition of the current interior spaces could begin as early as February 2005. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2006.

Since last month, crews have been upgrading the electrical service to Morrill Hall. Earlier this week, crews from Iowa State's contracted hazardous materials company began to remove molds, lead paint, and floor tiles and pipe insulation that contain asbestos. The work is expected to take six to eight weeks. Because a glazing compound on the windows also contains asbestos, the windows will be removed this fall and replaced with plywood or plastic sheeting-lath grids.

Design documents for the construction companies that bid on the renovation project are about 85 percent complete, according to Kerry Dixon-Fox, the university's project manager for Morrill renovation. Bids will be opened Jan. 20, 2005.

Built in 1890, Morrill Hall contains 24,890 gross square feet on four levels. The building has never had a major remodeling or upgrade.

The ISU Foundation still is accepting donations to the Morrill project. Further donations could be used to cover unexpected expenses in the renovation, or establish an endowed fund to assist with building maintenance.