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UNI hires architectural firm to design McLeodUSA Center/Human Performance Center<br>

August 7, 2002
Contact: 

Bill Calhoun, vice president for University Advancement, (319) 273-6078
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has hired Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck, a Des Moines architectural firm, to design the McLeodUSA Center/ Human Performance Center (HPC).

In 2001, this nationally known firm received the American Institute of Architect?s 2001 Architecture Firm Award, the institute?s highest honor for design practice. Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck also designed UNI's Rod Library fourth-floor addition, completed in 1995; and Residence on the Hill, completed in 1994. They will partner with Crawford Architects of Kansas City for this latest UNI project.

The McLeodUSA Center will be the new home for Panther basketball, volleyball and wrestling, with seating for about 6,000. The estimated construction cost is $18 million, to be raised through private funds. A site will be announced this fall.

The HPC is a collaboration between the university and the local medical community. It will include space for instructional and outreach programs for the UNI School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Service. It also will provide facilities for programs in athletic training, offer enhanced medical services in the areas of orthopedic rehabilitation and sports injuries, and provide additional weight training space for student athletes.

The construction cost of the $7 million building will be partially funded by a $1.8 million federal appropriation through the Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration. 'Congressman Jim Nussle and Senator Tom Harkin were instrumental in securing this funding,' explained Bill Calhoun, vice president for University Advancement.

The rest of the building's costs will be covered through private fundraising by the university and support from the medical community. In March, the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation of Grinnell pledged $250,000 to the project.

Both facilities are part of the university's 'Students First' campaign. Before groundbreaking on the project can occur, however, the university must secure at least $25 million in pledges and gifts. Calhoun said the UNI Foundation hopes to meet the goal by spring 2003. To date, $19 million has been secured: $15 million for the McLeodUSA Center, and $4 million for the HPC.

Calhoun also said the 'Students First' campaign is nearing its $75 million goal for scholarships, academic program support and facilities.

The leadership gift phase of the campaign's local drive is nearly complete. The national kickoff will take place this fall.