The University of Iowa has purchased 22 mobile units for use by professors and students impacted by the summer flooding. University spokesperson Steve Parrott says the temporary space used this Fall semester on the Arts Campus, which sustained the heaviest damage, isn’t working out. The mobile units will be in place for the Schools of Music and Theatre Arts next semester.
"They’ll provide better space for students to practice and perform," Parrott said. "They’ll also give some office space to teaching assistants in Theatre Arts and faculty offices as well." Most of the units are 24 feet long and 12 feet wide and will be placed in a parking lot near the Theatre Building.
"What we’re trying to do here is get some of these people back together as a cohesive unit, so they can feel more like they are a school, instead of being dispersed too widely around campus," Parrott said. FEMA is picking up 90-percent of the trailer’s cost, estimated at 1.5 million dollars.
Voxman Hall, home of the U-I School of Music, Clapp Recital Hall, Art Building West and Hancher Auditorium all remain closed with extensive damage. Parrott says less than 40-percent of the total campus space removed from service because of flooding remains off limits.
"Even though we’ve come a long way, we have a long way to go," Parrott said. "We’re getting some of these buildings cleaned up and reusing some of them, but we have some major decisions to make over the next year or so about what we can do to mitigate damage in case we have floods in the future." The mobile units are expected to be delivered in mid-January.