March 24, 2011

Sports complex moves into final design phase; regents ask for one more look

by Anne Krapfl

The athletics department received state Board of Regents approval March 23 to begin a detailed design of an outdoor sports complex on the green space east of the Towers residence halls. Stopping short of giving the final green light to construction, the board asked to review the final design, especially plans for storm water runoff and site drainage, before the project goes out for bid early this summer.

The complex will provide practice and competition facilities for the women's soccer and softball, and men's and women's track and field teams. Its estimated cost, $13 million, will be covered by annual athletics revenues and private gifts and financed over 15 years. No general university funds or student fees will be used.

Vice president for business and finance Warren Madden summarized several months of university officials' discussions with neighbors along the east and north side of the sports complex site. Madden said the preliminary site plan has been modified to address concerns about lighting, noise and parking. He said that in the final design, Iowa State will address the neighbors' concern about storm water runoff.

"We are aware that some in the neighborhood wish this project wouldn't happen at all," he said. "We believe this is an improved plan, and we will work within city and [Iowa Department of Natural Resources] requirements to try to respond to their concerns."

He said the intent is to actually improve water runoff at the site in the final design, not further hinder it, as neighbors fear.

Regent Robert Downer proposed delaying the board's final approval of the project until the detailed design is complete.

"Looking at the topography, drainage may be a difficult issue," he said. "I don't doubt anything anyone at the university has said. We want to be good neighbors."

Parking permit rates for next year

The cost of ISU parking permits would rise about 3 percent on July 1, under proposed rates presented to the regents. The board will vote on parking fees at its April 27-28 meeting. Parking permit funds are used to pay operating expenses in the parking division and to upgrade and repair existing lots.

Parking permits: Proposed increases on July 1

PermitProposed FY12CurrentIncrease
24-hour reserved$846$8213.0%
General staff*$132$1283.1%
Memorial Union ramp
      MU employee$474$4622.6%

*Includes Residence, Ames Lab staff permits
**Fall, Winter and Spring