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University of Iowa nears completion of theater construction stymied by flood Photo courtesy of University of Iowa.

University of Iowa nears completion of theater construction stymied by flood

The University of Iowa is nearing completion of construction of its new theater.  The project has made significant progress since construction began, but summer flooding caused unexpected setbacks, according to the Daily Iowan. 

The flooding caused the entire basement of the theater to fill with water and reach about 6 inches below the first floor. In addition, a number of wooden walls and drywall, which had significant water damage, had to be replaced. Electrical wiring and air conditioning systems also had to be replaced and relocated to a new third floor that was constructed to house all of the building’s electrical systems. The systems had been located in the basement prior to the flood.

The building was reconfigured because the water damage was not a result of actual river water height, but rather stemmed from design flaws that continued to funnel water into the basement, according to university officials.

“The theater building’s actual damage made it clear to FEMA and the university that the building could not be fully protected from future flood damage, so a plan would not fit the government requirements,” Rod Lehnertz, the director of planning, design, and construction for UI Facilities Management, said.

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