The Board of Regents gave approval Wednesday for the demolition of the flood-damaged Hancher Auditorium and Art School building on the University of Iowa campus. They were damaged in the 2008 flooding and will be rebuilt in other locations.
U-I vice president, Doug True, told the regents the demolition is going to be expensive because of the size of the buildings and there is also asbestos present. True was asked about the impact on the local landfill from all the material. He says find uses for the material is part of the overall plan.
“This is one of the things we share with FEMA — an intense desire to recycle materials — there even are people on site all the time that work is being done to make sure that it is recycled and trucks don’t inadvertently end up in the Johnson County landfill. So, there’s a lot of effort in that,” True explained.
Bricks and cement from demolition is often used for what’s called rip-rapp along rivers and streams to prevent erosion. True says they are exploring all options to reuse or save the material from the buildings.
“Everything possible will be done to keep things out of that final disposition in the landfill,” True said. “And there’s a lot of requirements that ensure that. Including, and I emphasize this, not just for rip-rapp or sort to low end uses, but things that can truly be recycled and have some sort of historic valuation.”
Valuable items, such as expensive pianos, inside the buildings were removed and stored to be returned when the new buildings are completed. True says they will be looking for other historical items as they tear down the structures.
“One of the things we’re doing in the course of this work, we’ve agreed to do tapes and histories of these buildings and record all these facts and take opportunities to preserve objects from the buildings that might be of use in the future. Or be useful to provide for sale or to give people as mementos of some of these important buildings, particularly the Hancher-Voxman-Clapp building,” according to True.
Demolition of the Art Building isn’t expected until to be completed until November 2013 and the demolition work on the Hancher-Voxman-Clapp facility is slated to continue into December of 2013.
The demolition of the Hancher building is projected to cost $5- million and $1.5-million for the Art Building. The cost will be paid in a combination of flood recovery money from FEMA, state or university funds.