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Facilities Management director: Many great challenges lie ahead

Don Guckert and Iowa Governor Chet Culver
Photo by Tim Schoon.

The University of Iowa held a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Monday, Aug. 25, to celebrate the reopening of five critical campus buildings—Main Library, which opened weeks ago; and Becker Communications Studies Building, Adler Journalism Building, English-Philosophy Building, and Mayflower Residence Hall, which came online within the past week. These buildings were among the 20 closed due to summer flooding.

But this ceremony does not indicate that it's business as usual on the UI campus. In the words of Don Guckert, associate vice president and director of Facilities Management, “Most of the bigger challenges lie ahead.”

For instance, the University is relying on temporary boilers to take the place of the UI Power Plant. Work continues to bring the Iowa Memorial Union back online. And much of the arts campus is facing an entire year of recovery efforts. Add to this the long-term mitigation decisions that must be made to help prevent this sort of damage from recurring, and one sees a long road indeed—but one that seems navigable, if this summer’s recovery work is any indication of the dedication many people have for the UI campus.



Creativity, hard work help arts programs find temporary homes for the fall

spacer gif Clinton Street Music photo
Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Kayt Conrad, director of operations for the Division of Performing Arts, says it was clear almost immediately that the scope of this summer's flooding on the arts campus—and the recovery work afterwards—would be far greater than in 1993.

“I thought, ‘we’re not going back in there,’” she says. “'We need to get started on the fall right now.’”

The four units that have been flooded out—the School of Art and Art History, School of Music, Department of Theatre Arts, and Hancher Auditorium—faced a huge challenge for the fall semester: finding locations for performances, classes, rehearsals, arts studios, and faculty offices.

The solutions they found reflect a remarkable combination of ingenuity, energy, and assistance from many people within the University and a wide variety of organizations and groups in the community.


Photo feature: Studio Arts takes shape

In mere weeks, a former retail space along Highway 1 was transformed into the Studio Arts Building, which will house all of the arts studios and studio faculty offices except intermedia and photography. All the equipment that was not damaged in the summer flooding has been moved to this location. fyi photographer Tom Jorgensen captures the rapid transition.

See the photos...


Hancher announces revised 2008–09 season

Hancher Auditorum is more than just the building. There is also Hancher the arts-presenting organization, internationally renowned for its commissions, networking, and innovative educational programming. It was the arts-presenting Hancher that took the Joffrey Ballet "River to River" last summer, and presented the "Spot" artist residencies in Marshalltown, Perry, and Spencer the last several seasons.

That being said, Hancher has salvaged a healthy portion of its initially announced 2008–09 season. The events will be dispersed throughout the Iowa City/Coralville Area, which plays into the season's theme: "Can't Contain Us!"




  • University issues flood recovery report to Regents
  • Selected Iowa Memorial Union offices on the move again
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute contributes $1 million to help UI flood recovery
  • UI Hospitals and Clinics named again as Magnet hospital
  • Pop-culture author Chuck Klosterman kicks off UI lecture series Aug. 27
  • UI Hospitals and Clinics among performance improvement leaders
  • Resources available for UI faculty, staff members impacted by flood
  • See which Learning and Development courses are right for you

(Full details)


  • UI researcher helps identify protein with anti-obesity effect
  • Teens who attend religious services do better in school, study shows
  • Fruit flies help UI team understand bacterial infections

(Full details)


  • Recent deaths

(Full details)



Paul Baumert
Paul Baumert MD
You could say that Paul Baumert plays a key role in devising strategy for the University of Iowa football team. No, Baumert is not a coach—he lets Kirk Ferentz and his staff handle the X’s and O’s—but as the primary health care physician for the Hawkeye squad, he takes care of the team’s general medical problems and illnesses, and keeps the athletic training staff and coaches informed on the availability of affected players. Baumert, a staff physician at UI Student Health Service, coordinates primary care (all nonsurgical care) for all UI student athletes. The job is a good fit for Baumert, who has an expertise in sports medicine and has long held a fondness for his alma mater.




“This next year is really going to prove we're more than a building."

Chuck Swanson
(Des Moines Register, Aug. 14)

More quotes...

Be Remarkable University of Iowa wordmark dome logo
Dan Gable

Dan Gable

Olympic wrestling champion pushes excellence on, off mat



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