A fire Friday on the University of Iowa campus damaged a high-tech new building nearing completion but spokesman Steve Parrott says they were lucky. About 90 construction workers in the building at the time were able to get out safely, no faculty or students were hurt but they did evacuate the chemistry building when the fire broke out about 11:30. By late in the day classes had resumed in the chemistry building and students returned to Dahm Hall, a nearby dorm that also was emptied for a time. Even though there were “some pretty good-looking flames” and smoke, he says it looks like there wasn’t significant structural damage, and there’s minimal damage inside, just drywall water damage, because it wasn’t finished inside but outside walls show damage and the planned opening will have to be pushed back a couple months. The building’s going to house the university’s honors program as well as the Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, as well as classrooms and offices. The Iowa City fire department’s probing the cause of the fire, the second big blaze it’s had to tackle this week. The Blank Honors Center is being built in the center of the University campus.
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