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Photos: IMU ground floor reopens after seven years

Posted by Adam Burke | Jun 3, 2015 | Community/News

The Iowa Memorial Union ground floor reopened today after several years of reconstruction and renovation following the 2008 floods.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held earlier today, President Sally Mason and other speakers acknowledged the participation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Iowa branch of Homeland Security. FEMA awarded almost $500 million for campus-wide reconstruction and flood mitigation including over $20 million for the IMU rebuild and cleanup. The IMU interior received $1.8 million from FEMA.

The IMU was flooded and condemned on June 13, 2008 when the Iowa River overflowed its banks and came through the walls to soak the University of Iowa student center on Madison Street between Jefferson and Market.

At right, Interim Vice President of Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz cuts part of the ribbon at the IMU. He began his comments during the short program by thanking the thousands of students who missed a chance to study and socialize in the ground floor of the IMU during the seven years it was closed -- photo by Adam Burke

At right, Interim Vice President of Finance and Operations Rod Lehnertz cuts part of the ribbon at the IMU. He began his comments during the short program by thanking the thousands of students who missed a chance to study and socialize in the ground floor of the IMU during the seven years it was closed — photo by Adam Burke

The IMU ground floor restoration project recovers some 80,000 square feet of space lost to flooding  -- photo by Adam Burke

The IMU ground floor restoration project recovers some 80,000 square feet of space lost to flooding. — photo by Adam Burke

While interior work is completed, exterior construction and cleanup continues at the Iowa Memorial Union -- photo by Adam Burke

While interior work is completed, exterior construction and cleanup continues at the Iowa Memorial Union — photo by Adam Burke

The IMU plaza along the Iowa River is expected to be finished in July  -- photo by Adam Burke

The IMU plaza along the Iowa River is expected to be finished in July — photo by Adam Burke

University of Iowa President Sally Mason celebrates the end of a long cleanup project at the IMU. Mason, appointed to her office in 2007, recently announced her retirement and said her last day will be July 31, 2015 -- photo by Adam Burke

University of Iowa President Sally Mason celebrates the end of a long cleanup project at the IMU. Mason, appointed to her office in 2007, recently announced her retirement and said her last day will be July 31, 2015 — photo by Adam Burke

About The Author

Adam Burke

Adam Burke is Little Village's photo editor.

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