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

Oct. 24, 2008

Regents will hear rec project update

by Erin Rosacker

A progress report on the recreation facilities expansion and renovation project will be presented to the state Board of Regents at its Oct. 29 meeting in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Planners also will submit the proposed student fee increase that would finance the project.

Progress report

The rec project's "program statement" includes details on the location, function, use and size of the expansion and renovation. A projected timeline also is mapped out. Total cost for the project remains unchanged at $52.8 million.

A summary prepared by the architectural firm (RDG Planning and Design) breaks down the project into net square feet (nsf) of space, including:

  • 67,420 nsf addition to State Gym (activity and common areas)
  • 39,397 nsf remodeled space in State Gym (administration, activity and common areas)
  • 7,450 nsf remodeled space in Beyer Hall (activity and common areas)

Installing air conditioning in some areas of the Lied Center and constructing an elevated skywalk linking Beyer Hall to State Gym also are planned.

Estimates of "milestone" dates include a complete schematic design in November and project development finished by March 9, 2009. A projected start date for construction is October 2009, with completion in August 2011. Installation of air conditioning in the Lied Center would take place next spring and summer, wrapping up by Aug. 15, 2009.

Finance 101

Currently, students pay recreation fees that support operations, programming and facility maintenance costs ($60.40 this year). Students also pay fees used to retire the bond debt for the Lied Center ($30.50 per student, per year) and Ames/ISU Ice Arena ($8.40).

As proposed, another fee to support the project would be phased in gradually over three years. Students would pay an additional $40 annually for two years (beginning in fall 2009), then the additional fee jumps to $214 per year beginning in fall 2011 -- the projected opening date for the new facility. These dollars would flow toward bond debt repayment.

New twist

The proposal also includes yearly inflationary increases (averaging 2.47 percent through 2036), and retains the annual student fees for Lied and the ice arena after the debt bonds are fulfilled. Those bonds are scheduled to be paid off in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and the continued revenue would be directed to deferred maintenance.

This year, students are paying $99.30 in student recreation costs (including the Lied and ice arena debt payments). All of the proposed changes would increase that payment to $141.70 and $144.50 over the next two years, respectively. When the full debt repayment of the expansion and renovation project is implemented in 2011-12, the student recreation fee would jump to $321.63 annually.

The proposed fee hike earned approval from ISU's special student fee and tuition committee at its Sept. 19 meeting. The committee also voted to continue collecting the annual Lied and ice arena fees after they expire.


The Board of Regents will consider ISU's project program statement and financing plan for the $52.8 million recreation facilities expansion and renovation project.