Renovation work is underway on the University of Iowa president’s office and home on the Iowa City campus.
The school’s Associate Vice President & Director of Facilities Management, Don Guckert, gave the Board of Regents an update this week. The work on the office in Jessup Hall is replacing the decor which is decades old.
“This office of the president dates back to 1966. It was formerly the English Department chair’s office. Sandy Boyd occupied it in 1970 as the president’s office and it has not had anything but carpet and paint done to it ever since,” Guckert. He says they are reworking the layout of the office.
“It is inefficient and we are looking at a renovation that will enhance collaboration with the president and his staff,” Guckert says. “We’re also looking at adding appropriate security, upgrading the conference facilities, the technology and properly sizing it for the type of meetings that are hosted by the president.”
He says the renovation will last into next year. “The project is estimated to cost in the range of 750,000 to 900,000 (dollars). We are looking at having it completed by the end of the Spring semester in May. It is funded from a combination of non-general fund sources.” The residence of the president is also getting some upgrades. “This is one of our oldest facilities on campus — it was built in 1908,” Guckert says. “It’s primary purpose is to host university functions. With more than 200 events are held at this facility each year, thousands of individuals pass through it, and as you can imagine, that takes its toll on this facility through wear and tear.”
He says updating the heating and cooling system is one of the big issue they are dealing with in the upgrade, along with several other maintenance issues brought on by the building’s extensive use. “It’s important to note that 1,300 square feet of this 13,000 square foot facility is dedicated to the private living quarters of the president. So, approximately half of the second floor is what’s considered the private quarters for our president,”Guckert says. “So most of the needs in this facility are related to its function for hosting events.” The renovations on the president’s office and residence were planned before it was known a new president would be taking over.
Guckert says the work on the residence won’t be done by the time new president Bruce Harreld takes over in November, and they are looking into alternatives for his residence until the work is completed.