Residence department hopes to expand Frederiksen Court

The residence department will seek permission to begin planning an estimated $24.3 million expansion to its Frederiksen Court student apartments on the north side of campus when the state Board of Regents meets Friday in Cedar Falls.

The proposal calls for up to seven additional buildings, each with 24 apartments, or approximately 650 additional beds. The department proposes to use construction documents from the existing Frederiksen Court buildings, making minor floor plan modifications and other changes for greater energy efficiency.

Listen online

Audio of public portions of the meeting will be live streamed on the Board of Regents website. Times are approximate.

Education committee, Aug. 2, 3-5 p.m.
Full board, Aug. 3, 9-11:30 a.m.

Residence director Pete Englin said the proposal responds to higher enrollment -- and strong student demand for on-campus housing. Since 2005, on-campus occupancy rates have outpaced enrollment growth by 12 percentage points.

"Particularly for returning students, apartments are the preferred housing option," he said, "which allows us to welcome new students to residence halls. And that experience has proven to help them be successful, on many levels.

"They're saying to me, 'Don't tell us to go live somewhere else.' We do add value to their Iowa State experience, and students have responded to that."

Last fall, about 180 students were placed in residence hall dens, due to high demand. That number could be even higher this fall. Englin said leaders from both student government and the residence hall association have asked for a growth plan, including one that even builds in vacancies so students have flexibility to change housing during the school year.

If enrollments drop in the future, Englin said on-campus apartments would remain a popular option for students. The department then would consider options such as converting double rooms in residence halls to singles or even "retiring" older residence halls.

If Iowa State gets the green light from the board Friday, Englin said the first new building likely wouldn't open until early 2014. Construction costs would be covered by residence system revenue bonds. Englin noted that under current rates, rent from the students in the new buildings would cover bonding and operating costs. Rates wouldn't have to be raised system-wide to pay for the new apartments.

FY13 budget

The board also is expected to approve budgets for the fiscal year that began July 1. Iowa State's proposed total budget is just over $1.2 billion, which includes sponsored research and auxiliary units such as athletics, printing, residence and dining. The university's general fund operating budget of $574.5 million is supported by $221.8 million in state support, an estimated $13.7 million in federal support and $317.6 million in tuition and fees.

Request for new programs, center

During the board's education and student affairs committee meeting (scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Aug. 2), senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert will present Iowa State requests for three new master's programs:

  • Master of Engineering in engineering management (developed in the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department with assistance from the College of Business)
  • Master of Urban Design (interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)
  • Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (also an interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)

Iowa State also will seek permission to move the 9-year-old Center for e-Design from the Virginia Tech campus to Iowa State's industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department. Janis Terpenny, who came to Iowa State last August as department chair, has directed the center for several years. The National Science Foundation, which funds the center, has approved the change.

The center is an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, currently with seven universities and 38 dues-paying members from industry. The center applies principles of science, math and engineering to help develop, test and implement new methods and technologies for improved product design.

If approved in committee, these items would be presented to the full board on Friday.

Also on Thursday, in closed session, the board will conduct annual performance evaluations for the leaders of the five regent institutions and board executive director Robert Donley.

Land purchase, honorary degree, building projects

In other business, Iowa State will ask the board to approve:

  • A proposal to purchase 17 acres of woodland and a lodge from the YMCA of Greater Des Moines for approximately $120,000. The land is located between Veenker golf course and the Applied Sciences Complex. The university owns 175 acres of woodland in the adjacent area. Purchase funds would come from ISU's facilities overhead use fund.
  • An honorary Doctor of Science degree for James Barnard, a leading environmental engineer in the world, to be awarded at the fall 2012 commencement ceremony. The South Africa native is renowned for his innovative research in water quality, particularly wastewater treatment. Since the 1970s, he has focused on using biological methods, such as algae, on a massive scale instead of expensive chemicals to remove nutrients from wastewater. Barnard's honorary degree nomination came from faculty members in the civil, environmental and construction engineering department.
  • A request to name the outdoor track at the Cyclone Sports Complex for Bill and Karen Bergan, Ames, who provided a lead gift of $1 million for the complex. In 23 years of coaching at Iowa State (1971-1994), Bill Bergan brought unprecedented success to the cross-country and track and field teams that included two NCAA titles and 25 conference championships. Iowa State proposes to commission a statue of Bergan for the site.
  • A request to name the athletics department's combined football facilities -- the existing Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility and the nearly completed football training facility addition -- the Bergstrom Football Complex. As on the indoor training facility, the Bergstroms provided the lead gift, $2 million, on the football addition.
  • A schematic design for the remodeling of the MacKay Hall auditorium. The room currently seats up to 370 students on two levels; the renovation would convert the room to a contemporary, interactive classroom with seats for 215 students while respecting the room's historical character. The $3.2 million cost, approved by the board in March, would be covered with university and College of Human Sciences funds. If approved, work would begin after fall semester.
  • A schematic design and budget ($7.3 million) for the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, to be built on the south side of Mortensen Road, north of the Ames/ISU ice arena. All but $300,000 of the cost is covered by private gifts, including the Hansens' lead gift of $2 million. Construction could begin in late fall.