University of Northern Iowa officials are raising money to renovate what U-N-I president Mark Nook calls “iconic spaces” on the Cedar Falls campus.
“In 2026, when we turn 150 years old, the Campanile be 100 years old, the UNI-Dome will be 50 years old and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center will be 26 years old,” Nook says.
The most recognizable of those three is the UNI-Dome, which Nook says isn’t just a regional center, but a facility that serves the entire state, with the state football playoffs, there are various ag and home shows that happen in there and concerts, so it really is a resource for the state, so it’s one we’ve got to pay attention to and make sure we keep up to date,” Nook says, “and after 50 years, it needs a little work.”
Part of the plan is to replace the bleachers with stadium seating. “Right now if you attend an event there, you’re sitting on 18 inches of aluminum with a pretty solid back behind you,” Nook says. “What we want to do is pull all of those out is replace them with stadium seats and cupholders, so you can be a little more comfortable when you’re in the venue.”
UNI’s predominant school color is purple and Nook says the plan calls for the new seats to be purple. The surface of the indoor track is to be upgraded as well, “and make it also very UNI specific in purple and gray with our big logo on it,” Nook says. “One of the big improvements will be in the restrooms. Our current restrooms need some work.”
The plan is to add space to the UNI-Dome for new restrooms, which Nook says will free up space in the facility so crowds can move more easily.
Nook made his comments during a recent “Iowa Press” episode on Iowa PBS.