Univ. of Iowa moves forward with plans to upgrade Iowa Memorial Union

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa is moving forward with plans to renovate one of the century-old buildings on campus.

While UI announced the decision to revamp parts of the Iowa Memorial Union just a year ago, these changes have been in discussion since the flood of ‘08 Now that FEMA funds have expired, students and faculty are expected to see construction within the year.

“One of the biggest things we’ll be doing is centralizing our well-being and mental health services,” said VP of Student Life, Sarah Hansen. “Whether they’re using student health, student wellness, student care and assistance, student counseling; they can go one place, they’ll be able to travel between those units or use multiple services at the same on the same day.”

Current students say something this is overdue.

“Through COVID, people weren’t able to talk to anybody and now we’re always preaching that you could talk to somebody, but there’s no one to talk to. So if they made a spot where you could, it would be pretty nice,” said UI Student, Sidney Kane.

“I think a mental health advocacy place would be a great resource for students. I’m always hanging out at the IMU so I think that’d be great,” said UI Student, Grace Van Kampen.

Other upgrades and additions include a Starbucks, more outdoor seating, and new food service options.

Right now, administration is in the process of soliciting an architect. Once that step is complete, students will start to see those changes.

“That firm will come in and really get in to the nitty gritty of what everything is going to look like, how it’s designed,” said Hansen. “That process can take anywhere from nine months to a year and then the shovels start to go into the ground.”

The cost of all these renovations will be covered mostly by a student fee.

Members of both undergraduate and graduate professional student government agreed to pay a fee of $100 to $120 per semester.