Iowa City, Iowa — As the University of Iowa sees yet another increase in its enrollment, the school is discussing plans to convert the Iowa House Hotel into student housing. The 112-room hotel is connected to the Iowa Memorial Union. Tentative plans would call for its conversion into approximately 190 beds at a cost of roughly $7.6 million. According to Von Stange, director of housing for the university, the school plans to make a decision on whether or not to move forward with the proposal in the coming weeks. Ultimately, the plan would need to be approved by the Iowa Board of Regents before construction could start.
The school plans to increase its yearly enrollment by 500 students in the next 5 years, but, aside from a 100-bed expansion of an existing dorm last year, no new student housing has been built for decades. The university conducted a feasibility study 2 years ago regarding temporarily converting the hotel to student housing to deal with an overflow of on-campus residents but the study was never acted upon. This newest study looked at a permanently conversion of the hotel.
Stange says that such a conversion would ideally take 6 to 9 months to complete. He adds that the Iowa House conversion proposal is one of the housing department’s top priorities right now.
— Coleman Wood