Brick by Brick by Last Brick

Aug. 18, 2005

A little more than nine months ago immediately south of the playing field inside historic Kinnick Stadium was the largest swimming hole in the state of Iowa. It was deep and wide.

Today, in that same space stands a beautiful addition to the University of Iowa campus, a structure that so nicely bookends the south facades of the 75-year-old east and west grandstands of what was originally known as Iowa Stadium, one would think it had been there forever.

One of the reasons why the new south grandstand of Kinnick “fits” so well alongside the original facility is the brickwork throughout the facility and, most notably, the south façade.

Seedorff Masonry Inc., of Strawberry Point, Iowa – one of the Midwest’s most respected masonry companies with more than 350 employees working out of five offices in Iowa and Nebraska – was the company responsible for laying all of the brick.

Late this morning, the company’s founder, Bill Seedorff, put the final touches on the stadium’s masonry when he laid the final brick during a private event at the entrance to the visiting team tunnel. Bill, a 72-year-old native of Arlington, Iowa, grew up in Strawberry Point. It was there, as a junior in high school, he watched the superintendent of schools lay the brick for a new gymnasium.

“I knew then that I wanted to lay brick. I was fascinated,” said Seedorff, who laid brick and managed others who learned the trade for 48 years before retiring and relocating to Manchester where he has lived for the past 15 years.

Seedorff said the last brick he laid prior to today’s activity was in his basement five years ago. “I still know what I’m doing, so you needn’t worry about a job well done,” he said with a smile while wielding with the skill of a surgeon the tools of his trade.

“I knew then that I wanted to lay brick. I was fascinated.”
Bill Seedorff, Seedorff Masonry Inc.

A season ticket holder to UI football games since the 1960 season, Seedorff and crews from his company have done the brickwork on numerous buildings on the UI campus in addition to Iowa’s beloved football stadium. The list is long and includes such landmarks as the Boyd Law Building and the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility.

SMI was also a contractor on the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, the new Veterans Stadium in Cedar Rapids, and is currently on-site in Cedar Falls at the McLeod Center under construction on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

For pictures of today’s ceremonial finish to the brickwork at Kinnick and a handful of others from in and around the stadium and worksite, click HERE and visit the photo gallery inside the world wide web site for the multi-million dollar renovation of Kinnick Stadium.

Behind and underneath the brick façade of Kinnick is a “whole lotta” work on par with the work of the masons from SMI. Thanks to literally hundreds of skilled workers, inside the spaces on concourse or street level and below at field level are a combination of amenities that will more than meet the needs of the 14,000 fans of the Hawkeyes who will cheer their favorite team from this vantage point inside Iowa’s prized football facility, and the student-athletes and coaches who square off on the gridiron.

For the fans, more gates to enter through, more restrooms, more concessions stands, more gathering space, more ticket windows, more leg room, more video, and better audio thanks to a multi-million state-of the-art sound system.

For the student-athletes and coaches and game officials and a handful of other who will call ground level home on game days – including the staff that will be responsible for what appears on the two state-of-the-art videowalls that will inform and entertain — new locker rooms filled with modern conveniences and, yes, more than a little dose of pink for visitors.

Fans of the Hawkeyes will soon wander through the new spaces. The Iowa Hawkeyes will open their 2005 season Sept. 3 against Ball State. The editors of thought they’d enjoy this summary of what is completed as planned for 2005, what will be on-going through the 2005 college football season, and what will be nearing completion a year from now when the Iowa Hawkeyes are making final preparations for the 2006 college football season.

What is completed for 2005 as planned…
? South grandstand
o Capacity of slightly more than 14,000
o Seat width of 18 inches
o Industry standard rise to run (more leg room)
o Creation of new American Disabilities Act (ADA) seating
o Creation of new student season ticket holder section
o Creation of new location for UI Marching Band

? Concourse level concessions stands
o Six new locations
o Where there was one line in 2004, there are two lines in 2005
o 2005 menu will match 2004 menu (stadium-wide)
o 2006 will feature new menu (stadium-wide)

? Concourse level men’s and women’s restrooms
o Seven new restrooms, five men, three women
o Where there was one opportunity in 2004, there are three opportunities in 2005

? Concourse level two “family” restrooms
? Concourse level First Aid Room (southeast exterior)
? Concourse level game-day ticket office (southeast exterior)
? Concourse level Official Iowa Hawk Shop (southeast interior)
? Concourse level pass gates (southwest)
? Southeast corner green space
? Southeast plaza and new entry gates
? Southwest corner green space
? Southwest plaza and new entry gates
? Scoreboard system with videowalls in main scoreboard and
northwest auxiliary board
? Public address system in main scoreboard
? New 25-second clocks south, below main scoreboard
? New 25-second clocks north, center of top of grandstand
? New main entrance (triple arch architectural feature at center of south façade)
? Reconfigure and resurface parking area west of stadium

? Create new non-game-day parking south of stadium (portions of the Krause Family Plaza located immediately south of the facility)
o Approximately 130 parking spaces managed by UI Parking Department

? Telecommunications wiring from south grandstand to new location for game-day television (west edge of parking area immediately west of stadium)
? Field level game officials locker rooms
? Field level chain gang locker room
? Field level visiting team locker room
? Field level game-day visiting team equipment room
? Field level game-day visiting team training room
? Field level home team locker room
? Field level home team coaches locker room
? Field level home team game-day equipment room
? Field level home team game-day training room
? Field level game-day visiting team post-game interview room
? Field level game-day home team post-game interview room, student- athletes
? Field level game-day home team post-game interview room, head coach
? Field level HawkVision operations room
? No damage to existing playing field; future playing surface under discussion
? 12 black and gold flags will fly on poles along south grandstand; other use of the locations (recognizing retired numbers, for example) is being explored and will be finalized prior to the 2006 season

Pieces of project ahead of schedule…
? The Krause Family Plaza
? South section of new press box
? North section of new press box
? Sale/leasing of premium seating opportunities (suites, indoor club seats, outdoor club seats)

What is planned to be completed prior to 2006 season…
? Demolition of existing press box and construction of new press box (work will continue throughout 2005 season on current north and south pieces of new press box)
o 46 private suites available for lease (4 available)
o 130 indoor club seats available for lease (None available)
o 1,150 outdoor club seats available for lease (240 available)

? Completion of the Krause Family Plaza (work will continue throughout 2005 season; space that is restricted on game days will shrink [western edge will move eastward] in size as season progresses)
? Installation of bronze statue Nile Kinnick in the Krause Family Plaza
o Statue will stand 12-feet tall
o Statue will rest on a 4-foot base

? Installation of bronze relief sculpture of Nile Kinnick’s touchdown versus Notre Dame on interior wall of south concourse opposite the main entrance
o 11-feet tall by 18-feet wide
o 18-inches deep

? Completion of parking area immediately west of stadium (current construction lay-down area)
? Renovation of restrooms and concessions stands in east concourse
? Conversion of old home team locker room into restrooms
? Conversion of old visiting team locker room into restrooms
? Renovation of restrooms and concessions stands in west concourse
? Installation of cornerstone
? Creation and installation of time capsule