Stage is set for a historic fall

Attendees of the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony in June head down the staircase inside the new Hancher Auditorium. The new venue will host a dedication and open houses in September. Photo by Justin Torner.

The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture, the definitive history book on the diverse collection of buildings that house the state’s flagship university, was first published in 2006. UI Press is printing a second, updated edition this fall—and for good reason.

Four major UI facilities are formally opening their doors this year, signaling the end of the post-flood rebuilding era, and several more new building projects are on the horizon. The university’s fall calendar is packed with dedications and groundbreakings, making 2016 an unprecedented year for campus growth. On top if it all, the formal installation of UI’s 21st president, Bruce Harreld, is planned for September in conjunction with a free outdoor show at the new Hancher Auditorium.

So, as alumni begin planning their return visits to campus this fall, here’s a rundown of the key dates. And, serindipitously, the updated edition of The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture, which is scheduled for a September release, will arrive just in time for the historic semester.

College of Engineering Groundbreaking

• When: 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26.
• Where: 103 S. Capitol St.
• What: Ground work for a new 65,000-square-foot annex for the Seamans Center has begun. The expansion project will provide much-needed space for the College of Engineering, which has seen significant growth in enrollment and research funding in recent years.

Hancher Auditorium Dedication and Open Houses

• When: Dedication ceremony is 3-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Open houses are 4-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11.
• Where: 141 East Park Road.
• What: After being displaced by the 2008 flood and being forced to stage its shows at venues around Iowa, Hancher makes its triumphant return in a new 1,800-seat auditorium along the river. Its debut season is packed with splashy Broadway musicals and big-name entertainers.

Presidential Installation Ceremony

• When: 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.
• Where: Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Road.
• What: While Bruce Harreld was appointed as Sally Mason’s successor last year, his formal installation won’t come until the start of his first full academic year as UI president. Tickets will not be required for entry into the installation ceremony.

Free Public Concert: Preservation Hall Jazz Band

• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.
• Where: On the Hancher Green, outside the new auditorium, 141 E. Park Road.
• What: The music of New Orleans—both old school and of the moment—comes to Iowa City in this free outdoor event. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band opened the original Hancher Auditorium in 1972, and it’s only right that the band heralds the opening of the new Hancher facility.

College of Pharmacy Groundbreaking

• When: 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.
• Where: Site of the former Quadrangle Residence Hall.
• What: The old residence hall is being razed to make way for the new Pharmacy Building. The facility, scheduled for completion in 2020, will provide the college with a more modernized space for instruction and research.

Visual Arts Building Grand Opening

• When: 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7.
• Where: 107 River St.
• What: The School of Art and Art History’s studios have been in temporary quarters on the edge of the city since the flood of 2008. Now they return to the arts campus in a new, 126,000-square-foot building designed by the same firm that created Art Building West, which sits next door.

Voxman Music Building Grand Opening

• When: 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21.
• Where: 93 E. Burlington St.
• What: The School of Music, which has been making do in temporary locations during the post-flood years, will move downtown this fall into its new glass-lined, modern facility. The state-of-the-art building features a 700-seat concert hall and 200-seat recital hall.

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Dedication and Open Houses

• When: Dedication is 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Open Houses are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6.
• Where: 200 Hawkins Dr., immediately south of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
• What: After four years of construction, the 12-story, $360-million Children’s Hospital tower will begin serving patients late this year. The 189-bed building will integrate inpatient, outpatient, and surgical care treatments under one roof.

UI Museum of Art Groundbreaking

• When, where: TBA.
• What: Closing in on a decade after the flood, the future of the displaced Museum of Art is beginning to come into focus. Earlier this year, UI announced it planned to build a new museum at the site of a current parking lot adjacent to the Main Library at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets. The project is still in the early stages of planning.

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