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

April 29, 2005

Revised Morrill plan goes to regents next week

by Anne Krapfl

Iowa State will seek approval of a revised renovation plan for Morrill Hall at a Board of Regents, State of Iowa, meeting May 5 in Cedar Rapids. The proposed revisions include almost $500,000 in reductions to construction plans and the infusion of about $1.78 million from several university investment and utility funds.

If the board approves the changes, work on Morrill could begin in late May. The new completion time is January 2007.

The revised project budget is $10.285 million, with a construction budget of $6.873 million. Formerly, the project budget was $9 million, of which $7.4 million was raised by the ISU Foundation in private gifts. A state capitals appropriation of $850,000 will pay for general university classrooms in the building, and the remaining $750,000 was budgeted from ISU building repair funds.

When construction bids for Morrill were opened March 10, the lowest bid was about 21 percent over the budgeted construction amount ($6.2 million). Since then, university representatives, the project architect and representatives from Harold Pike Construction, Ames (the low bidder) discussed options for reducing construction costs.

The changes outlined in a regents agenda item would not compromise the programs and offices slated to move into the renovated Morrill Hall. Those are a University Museums special collection, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and a new Center for Visual Learning in Textiles and Clothing.

The proposed changes to the building renovation work are:

  • Reduce the amount of exterior limestone and use brick instead
  • Change the type of brick used for the exterior masonry (still very similar to the original selection)
  • Eliminate wood trim on interior windows
  • Substitute steel railings for limestone walls along handicap ramp and lower level stairway
  • Eliminate video surveillance cameras from museum areas

One factor in the March over-budget bids was higher-than-anticipated infrastructure costs to provide telecommunications and electrical service to the building. As proposed, Iowa State would add $300,000 in utility infrastructure funds to the construction budget. Another $1,478,500 would be added from a combination of ISU Treasurer investment funds, building repair funds and general university funds.


Board of Regents, State of Iowa, meet May 5 in Cedar Rapids.