Already a subscriber? Log in
- Unparalleled business coverage of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor.
- Immediate access to subscriber-only content on our website.
- 26 issues per year delivered digitally, in print or both.
- Support locally owned and operated journalism.
At a Feb. 22 Board of Regents meeting, the University of Iowa was given permission to continue long-term housing plans including selling and replacing Mayflower Residence Hall. The plan calls for selling Mayflower following the 2024-25 school syear, pending a a market assessment. Until then, students will continue to live in the residence hall. Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations at the University of Iowa, said Mayflower is one of the "last chosen" and "first transferred from" dorms because it's more than a mile away from the main campus and not near food services. Using proceeds from the sale and other borrowing necessary, UI will then seek to build a 250-400 bed returning student hall within the East Side Residence Hall Neighborhood. It would be configured as a suite-style communinty and would cost $40-60 million, he explained. "Students being placed in Mayflower, which is sometimes the only option, is not as good for the student's success, sense of belonging, and retention," said Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life. "The apartment market in Iowa City generally requires that students establish their group of friends that are going to lease an apartment for their second year by October or early November," said Mr. Lehnetz. "We know it's important for some students who are still getting used to this larger college life to have an option to live on campus." With the removal of Mayflower, returning students living on campus is expected to drop from 1,000 to 300. The university will continue to utilize Parklawn, a residence hall near Hancher Auditorium. Mr. Lehnertz said this is critical, because the a $20 million modernization of Hillcrest Residence Hall means the removal of another 300 beds. The last year of Hillcrest's construction will coincide with Mayflower's final year in operation. A $5 million modernization of Currier Hall will continue to update the 100-year-old hall next year. The university will return to the Board of Regents with more concrete plans in upcoming months for a budget and design approval. Mayflower was built as a private apartment 53 years ago before it was subsequently purchased from the university. It has a bed capacity of 1,018 but currently holds about 800 students, said Ms. Hansen.