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Mayflower Hall

University of Iowa wants to sell one of its residence halls

Feb. 16, 2023
Iowa's housing plan calls for selling Mayflower Residence Hall and building a new housing facility in a more convenient part of the campus.

The University of Iowa wants to sell one of its residence halls and build new housing on the Iowa City campus.

The university says it plans to submit a housing and dining five-year plan next week to the Iowa Board of Regents. It calls for selling Mayflower Residence Hall and building a new residence hall on the east side of campus primarily for second-, third-, and fourth-year students.

Building a new residence hall, planned for university-owned property within the east side residence hall neighborhood, will bring more students to the central campus and provide easier access to campus dining at nearby Burge and Catlett halls.

Remodeling is in progress at Hillcrest and will continue into the 2023-24 academic year. Once the work at Hillcrest is complete, Mayflower would close as early as the end of the spring 2024 semester.

Mayflower was built in 1968 and was later bought by the university for student housing, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. It houses just over 1,000 students, including first-year students, returning students and transfer students.

Primarily because of its distance from main campus, Mayflower is consistently the least-requested residence hall by students and has the most students who leave to move into another hall. The residence hall is a 25-minute walk to the Iowa Memorial Union, and a few minutes more to get to the main campus.

By providing more student housing on the main campus, the university aims to increase first- to second-year retention rates. Recent data show that first-year students who live in Mayflower are retained at lower rates than any other residence hall and have lower grade point averages.

Building the new residence hall would cost between $40 million and $60 million, the university says.

Iowa has 11 residence halls, nine of which are more than 50 years old. The oldest is Currier, which was built in 1914, and the newest is Catlett, which opened in 2017. In total, the residence hall system has about 6,500 beds.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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