Osborn Drive future: No parking during work hours

Workers pour sidewalk on Osborn Drive

Construction workers pour tinted cement into a wider sidewalk along Osborn Drive. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Several pilot projects to reduce congestion and improve safety on Osborn Drive will begin in August. Unlike the sidewalk widening currently under way, these projects are very much in the testing stages.

"We have identified several recommendations for immediately reducing Osborn congestion and improving safety," said Cathy Brown, assistant director for planning in facilities planning and management. "We'll evaluate their effectiveness over the next few months and go from there."

No parking

Several dozen parked cars will be conspicuously absent from the north side of Osborn in mid-August. On-street parking will be prohibited during work hours Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., when the access control gates are down.

Drivers who have medical parking permits will need to park in other accessible spaces on campus. Vendors, such as those delivering food and packages or providing other services, should park in designated vendor spaces in lots accessed from Pammel Drive.

During summer weekdays, while the gates remain open, drivers with appropriate permits can park along Osborn. The street also will be available for open parking after 5 p.m.during the week and on weekends.

Sidewalk off limits to bicyclists

University policy already prohibits bicyclists from riding on sidewalks. That policy will be reinforced along Osborn in a program dubbed "Walk Your Wheels."

"If they're riding, bicyclists should stay in the street," Brown said. "If they're walking their bikes, the sidewalks are fine."

She added that signs calling on drivers to share the road will be posted along Osborn.

Fewer bus stops

Three CyRide bus stops will be "decommissioned" -- covered with bags, not actually removed -- along Osborn. Key bus stops will remain near the Armory, Gilman and Kildee halls.  A fourth stop at Science Hall will serve only the Orange circulator route.

Diverting large delivery vehicles

Officials still are working out details of a plan to keep large over-the-road vehicles, like commercial delivery trucks, off Osborn during peak periods, Brown said. The plans call for rerouting deliveries of Osborn-bound packages and equipment to Central Stores.

Traffic to lab school, parking lot 43

Parents who are taking children to and from the Child Development Laboratory School in the Palmer Building and parking lot 43 permit holders must travel along Osborn. Officials urge those who are coming from the east to spend a little less time on the busy road by turning south on Farm House Lane and accessing the school through lot 43 on the south side of Bessey Hall.

Parking meter removal

The six parking meters along Morrill Road in the Beardshear Hall area will be replaced with medical, departmental, and vendor parking. Valid parking permits will be required in those spots.

Gated access changes

An effort is under way to reduce traffic traveling through the gates at each end of Osborn Drive, Brown said. To that end:

  • Most gate card holders will be required to renew their cards annually. The renewal process is scheduled to begin in August; email notifications will be sent. Gate card holders who have valid permits to park within the gated area will not be required to renew annually.
  • When the gates are down (closed), those seeking access must have a valid medical, departmental, vendor or specific permit to park within the gated area.
  • For those who don't have valid permits within the gated area, pickups and drop-offs must occur before 7:30 a.m. or after 5 p.m. when the gates are open.
  • The CyRide Orange circulation route will continue to operate frequently and is free for anyone wanting to travel around the campus.
Worker smooths new sidewalk along Osborn Drive

Construction worker John Freeman smooths cement into the new sidewalk in front of Science I. Photo by Christopher Gannon


Residence hall furnishings crafted by inmates

Willow Hall furnishings

This Willow Hall room showcases typical furnishings for each student -- loft, desk, chair and combination wardrobe-dresser. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

In a few weeks, students and parents will begin turning residence hall rooms into homes. They'll empty contents of overloaded boxes into drawers and closets, toss bedding on lofts and plop onto desk chairs for occasional breaks.

The backdrop to these move-in activities in every residence hall room across campus will be thousands of sturdy oak furniture sets. Those desks, chairs, lofts and wardrobes were crafted by inmates of the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

The residence hall furnishings, well-made and competitively priced, are the result of a successful, longstanding collaboration with Iowa Prison Industries, said Norm Hill, director of central stores.

It's a collaboration that dates back to the late '90s, when, in a competitive bidding process, Prison Industries was awarded the furniture contract for the remodeled Maple Hall. Inmates built and installed the Maple Hall furniture and, shortly thereafter, did the same at Hawthorn (now Frederiksen) Court. Prison Industries has supplied nearly every piece of furniture installed in residence halls since. And, in recent years, it's been providing cleaning supplies and trash liners as well.

There are good reasons to partner with Prison Industries, Hill said.

"We're encouraged to partner with other state entities. We're creating rehabilitation opportunities for men and women," he said. "But we don't do this just to be nice. It's a business decision for us. They're good and competitively priced."

Closeup of residence hall furnishings

Dorm durable

Roger Sebring, purchasing agent in the department of residence facilities services, said the oak and oak veneer furniture coming out of the Fort Madison workshop is high quality and typically lasts 10 to 14 years.

Recent residence hall projects with Prison Industries include 536 standard sets (loft, desk with bookcase, chair and combo wardrobe-dresser) that are being installed in Larch Hall. Before summer's end, another 395 sets, slightly modified for apartments, will be installed in University West, the most recent off-campus facilities that will be leased and operated as on-campus housing during the coming academic year.

Next year's plans call for 784 more sets for the new residence hall that will be constructed east of Buchanan Hall.

Green solutions

At the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, Mitchellville, inmates make most of the green cleaning products used throughout campus. They blend chemicals, then bottle and label the cleaners, all of which carry Green Seal certification, a sign of an environmentally sound product.

"The cleaners are a highly effective, green solution for the university," Hill said. Workers at the Mitchellville facility also make Iowa State's biodegradable trash liners and launder mop heads and rags used by ISU custodial services.

Teri Sieve, facilities manager of custodial services, said the people and service make Prison Industries "exceptional partners" to Iowa State. "If we have a problem, they go above and beyond to assist us in finding a solution."

Prison Industries: How it works

"Iowa Prison Industries is self-funded," said Robert Fairfax, director of Prison Industries sales and marketing. "We have to operate like a regular business dealing with our customers."

However, Prison Industries can't compete with the private sector. By state law, it only can sell its products and services to government agencies, school districts and nonprofit groups.

Inmates like to be part of the Prison Industries program, Fairfax said, and they have to work to get in. They must apply, interview and undergo training to secure a job. Of 8,800 inmates statewide, 600 to 1,000 are involved in Prison Industries annually.

"The work we do for Iowa State creates millions of work hours yearly for offenders," Fairfax said. "Iowa State has been one of our most important customers since our inception.  ISU officials understand the value of our program -- to teach prisoners hard skills and soft skills so they can go back and be productive."

UHR activates final piece of online recruiting/hiring system

Following the successful relaunch of the electronic letter of intent last month, the final stage of Iowa State's online recruiting and hiring system (PeopleAdmin7) went live on July 21. Onboarding refers to the paperwork -- university, state and federal -- that all new hires must fill out, as well as university information and resources that are shared with new employees.

Employee onboarding checklist

  • Register for Net-ID
  • Equal Opportunity voluntary disclosure
  • Address information
  • W-4 withholding
  • Direct deposit
  • I-9 form
  • Register for benefits/ retirement enrollment session
  • Employee benefits enrollment
  • Retirement benefits enrollment
  • Conflicts of interest and commitment disclosure
  • Emergency contact information
  • ISU Alert sign-up
  • Register for University Orientation

The onboarding experience can begin once the hiring department confirms a hire in PeopleAdmin7, whether for a faculty, professional and scientific or merit position. Administered through AccessPlus, the onboarding self-service portal features a menu of 13 action items. An employee has 31 days from his or her start date to complete the items on the list.

University human resources (UHR) director Ed Holland said onboarding is intended to engage new employees early and contribute to their sense of belonging, provide clarity and direction with administrative processes, and generally ease some of the uncertainty associated with beginning a new career. The automated system should complement local onboarding processes in place in colleges, departments and offices.

"This collaborative effort will help ensure a new faculty or staff member arrives at Iowa State ready for success in his or her new position," Holland said.

Onboarding demonstration and feedback sessions were conducted with a variety of campus constituents, including human resource liaisons, departmental users, university administrators and members of the UHR team and information technology group.

Questions about onboarding can be emailed to onboarding@iastate.edu or directed to Holland, 294-4800.

Summer brings big groups to campus

Iowa State will host several events this summer, bringing large groups of participants to campus. Find out what (and who) you'll see navigating the sidewalks, roadways and buildings.




Iowa Games

July 10-12, 16-19, 24-26


Iowa Adult Education and Literacy Conference

July 15-17


Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
leadership seminar

July 21-26