The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied an appeal from the University of Iowa that challenged FEMA’s ruling that the university’s Museum of Art (UIMA) is ineligible for replacement funding. The university says it will pursue further appeals.
The art museum was among many buildings on the University of Iowa campus that sustained flood damage in 2008. Generally, to be eligible for replacement under FEMA rules, a building must have greater than 50 percent damage. In denying the initial request and the appeal, FEMA Region VII has argued that the UIMA suffered less than 50 percent damage and that it could be restored to use as a museum.
But the university contends that the former art building, even after repairs, cannot "perform the function for which it was being used as well as it did immediately prior to the disaster." After the flood, Lloyds of London, which insures the UIMA’s art collection, stated it would not insure the collection if it were returned to the building, effectively rendering the building unusable as a museum for fine art.