The Board of Regents gave the University of Iowa approval to move ahead with planning and designing for renovating the north end of Kinnick Stadium, building a residence hall near the stadium and the construction of a new indoor track-and-field facility west of Finkbine Golf Course. The U-I’s Planning and Construction Director, Rod Lehnertz, says the project could range from $135 to $150 million.
It starts with the stadium upgrade. “The north end zone itself was constructed in the first half of the 1980s and is obsolete by its function, but also the intent by the athletic department is to improve amenities, fan amenities,” Lehnertz says. The plans could include the dormitory near Kinnick Stadium that could include some 600 suite style rooms and will be home to athletes and regular students.
Lehnertz says the will know more details now that they have approval to proceed. “This is a project where we are asking for permission to proceed with planning and we’ll advance the efforts to design and estimate and bring it back to you with more defined information,” Lehnertz says.
Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter says its not easy approving something with such a large price tag, but he says the improvements an new facilities are important, especially the renovation at the stadium.
“The north endzone wasn’t updated through the renovation, and so I think it’s natural to have that happen to continue the support of the program at a high level and to continue the enjoyment of the fans watching the game,” Rastetter says. He points out that the renovation will be paid for by donations and funds from the athletic department, not through state dollars.