University of Iowa Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Health Sciences Academic Building

November 01, 2023
Architecture Civil Engineering & Water Resources Experiential Design Landscape Architecture Lighting Design Health Science Education

Designed in collaboration with RDG, the new ground-up facility will offer state-of-the-art learning space and allow for future growth in three of the university’s most popular and top-ranked programs.

The University of Iowa officially broke ground on its new state-of-the-art health sciences academic building. Once complete, the facility will contribute to student success at Iowa by providing state-of-the-art learning space and allowing for future growth in three of the university’s most popular and top-ranked programs. The groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, was attended by university leaders, local dignitaries, members of the community and representatives from the RDG Planning & Design team. 

Members of the RDG design team gather to celebrate the groundbreaking.

Located at the northeast corner of Melrose Avenue and South Grand Avenue, the Health Sciences Academic Building is a major urban project within the university’s campus and part of the university’s 10-year facilities plan. RDG’s design creates space to house academic, administrative, clinical and research space for three major departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Sciences, and Health and Human Physiology, and enables the university to enhance the training and education of Iowa’s future healthcare workforce. Additionally, the construction of the new building will enable the future construction of a new UI Health Care inpatient bed tower. The project also includes redevelopment of the surrounding site, which will be designed to serve building occupants as well as the greater campus academic and student community.

“Our partnership with the University of Iowa and collective vision for the Health Sciences Academic Building establishes a foundation for academic excellence that will serve both students and future healthcare patients for years to come," said RDG Architect and Senior Partner, Benjamin Kroll, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB. “The new facility will undoubtedly propel the university's renowned health sciences programs into the future, and in doing so, uplift the entire community."

RDG’s design encompasses six stories and 263,000 SF of academic space. The $249 million project is being funded by a combination of University Hospitals Building Usage Funds, university investment income and private donations. RDG is providing architecture, civil engineering, graphic design, landscape architecture, and lighting design services in collaboration with the construction manager Miron Construction Company Inc. The project is estimated to be completed in the summer of 2026.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director