A dedication ceremony is being held at 3 o’clock this afternoon for the new Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences building on the University of Iowa campus.
U-I Professor and department chair Mark Blumberg says the six-floor, $33 million structure replaces the aging Seashore Hall, located just east of Van Allen Hall. Blumberg calls the building “a wonderful addition to our lives.”
“It’s amazing. It’s got windows. It’s got light. It’s got state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and places for our students to teach, and our graduate students who TA in classes,” Blumberg says. “It’s got wonderful common spaces for undergraduates and graduate students to sit and talk and study and do all of the things that they do.”
This is the first centralized home for the psychology department and Blumberg says it will position the U-I to better prepare students for learning modern psychology and finding jobs in the field. “As the sixth oldest psychology department in the country, we were founded in 1890, you just never ran into students. You could never have a conversation because you never saw them,” Blumberg says. “So finally, we have a place. We’re like other departments on campus now where students can come and study and meet professors and talk with each other and learn and do their research. It’s an amazing, big step for us.”
Blumberg says two of the top five psychologists in the nation during the 20th century earned degrees at the U-I. Ground was broken on the 64,000 square-foot facility in October of 2018 and the project was completed on time and under budget.
“That meant that we were able to finish up some things that were critical but that we didn’t know we were going to be able to afford,” Blumberg says. “By the summer, we will have completed everything we could have hoped to complete and still be under budget.”
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is one of the largest U-I departments with 1,200 declared majors, 500 minors, and some 23,000 student credit hours taught in psychology every year.