IOWA CITY – University of Iowa officials had hoped to demolish two downtown bank buildings this fall to make way for the new School of Music facility, but that timeline is in flux as UI leaders await a decision regarding federal funding of some flood-replacement projects.
The UI purchased two bank properties on S. Clinton Street to make way for the new School of Music, which was displaced by the 2008 flood. One of those banks, Bank of the West, celebrated a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon at its relocated home in the Old Capitol Town Center downtown. That branch opened June 25, moving into the street-facing portion of the former Meta Home space.
The second property acquired by the UI, MidWestOne, at 102 S. Clinton St., is still occupied through a lease agreement by the bank, which is expected to move to its new location in the fall, David Kieft, assistant university business manager, said Thursday.
Originally, UI officials had hoped to bid the project in September, with demolition of the two bank buildings in October or November, Kieft said, but “now we don’t quite know what the timeframe is” because of the funding question.
Meanwhile, design work continues on the planned School of Music project, he said. The new building is slated to go up at the southwest corner of Clinton and Burlington streets.
“We’re moving forward with the design,” he said.
It could be months before UI officials get a decision regarding Federal Emergency Management Agency funds for replacement of the School of Music and Hancher Auditorium. The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General recently recommended that Hancher-Voxman-Clapp and the Art Building East facilities should be repaired in their original locations, rather than replaced at new locations as the UI had planned. So now UI officials await word on the intra-department government dispute.