Renovations begin on university president's office

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 31, 2015 at 3:01 p.m.



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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Renovation and maintenance work are in the beginning stages of the University of Iowa's president's office and home while the school looks to find its next president.

Four finalists are up for the job to replace Sally Mason, who's retiring. The Iowa Board of Regents is expected to choose a successor Thursday during their meeting in Iowa City, but it likely will be a few weeks, possibly months, until that person can start the job, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/1hOwD1a ) reported.

School officials say the $500,000 renovation of the president's office is long overdue and that it will cost an estimated $1.5 million to address deferred maintenance at the president's residence, which is more than a century old.

"They are both important buildings on our campus and serve important roles," said Rod Lehnertz, UI's interim senior vice president and director of planning, design and construction. "Taking care of them so that we don't have long-standing and more and more expensive deferred maintenance is a very important thing."

Work on two projects will reach a point by the end of the fall semester when the spaces should be useable, Lehnertz said. Both projects are expected to finish before spring semester ends.

Each project requires design approval by the Regents Board, and Lehnertz and Interim UI President Jean Robillard are expected to provide an update on plans during the board's Sept. 9 meeting in Cedar Falls.

"I'm very pleased the transition provides us an opportunity to complete some much needed maintenance on this historic home," Robillard said in a statement. "This is not only the residence of the university president but a landmark on campus that serves as a host site for more than 200 events a year."

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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