Athletics Department Assisting in New Band Facility

April 18, 2014

Editor’s Note: The folllowing was written Brianna Sudria and first appeared in the April 17 edition of Iowa Now.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 2008 flood has taken a heavy toll on the Hawkeye Marching Band (HMB). But a new outdoor field coupled with indoor turf and support facilities promises to make for better practices and performances.

Recreational Services and the UI Athletics Department are partners on the $15 million project — the UI Athletics Department is contributing $5.5 million to the financing of the project — slated to open this year as part of the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. It will provide much-needed space for the band and other programs.

The 2008 flood destroyed the Voxman Music Building, complicating storage and transportation for the band’s hundreds of instruments and uniforms. Since then, band members have had to stow their personal instruments in a storage container located at their temporary practice field off Park Road.

Kevin Kastens, marching band director, says as much as they’ve loved practicing there, conditions at the field are far from ideal. The ground isn’t level, and the band has had difficulty navigating holes and ruts in the grass. Rainwater pools in the center of the field and sits for hours. There are no restrooms.

The band has been holding indoor rehearsals at Riverside Recital Hall. On game days, instruments must be transferred by rental truck. Uniforms are stored at the University Club on Melrose Avenue. Everything is inconvenient.

At the same time, Recreational Services and Athletics face a shortage of indoor turf space. The units teamed up with the band to fund a new facility, with providing $6 million each. The university contributed $4 million to cover the band’s portion of the project.

“The practice field on Park Road will always have a special place in my heart. I remember being there on my first day of band camp my freshman year fondly.”
Quentin Marquez, the Hawkeye Marching Band’s drum major

The facility will include an outdoor natural grass practice field for the band, an indoor turf field, and support areas. The practice field has already been graded and seeded, and construction of the facility has already begun.

The new field will be equipped with observation towers on east side. “I will be able to better evaluate the visual elements of our shows,” says Kastens. “We’ll have even better pregame and halftime shows.”

“The practice field on Park Road will always have a special place in my heart. I remember being there on my first day of band camp my freshman year fondly,” says Quentin Marquez, the band’s drum major. “It truly will be the end of an era for the HMB, but the new facilities will be more representative of the great Big Ten band we are.”

Harry Ostrander, who is overseeing the project, served as director of Recreational Services for 44 years before his recent retirement. He has facilitated many campus projects, but says this is the first time he’s been involved in a “design-build” model that streamlines the process.

“It’s going to be a neat project out there for that particular facility because it’s already well in use and very popular,” says Ostrander.

Kastens believes the new facility will be a tremendous improvement for the marching band. “I appreciate having the option of being outdoors or indoors, and having all of the marching band instruments, uniforms, and equipment in one location,” he says.

The substantial completion date for the project is August 2014.

Friends of the UI and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes interested in providing financial support to the efforts and activities of Hawkeye Marching Band can learn more that by clicking HERE.

DID YOU KNOW…the UI Athletics Department Funds its Construction, Renovation?

The UI Athletics Department’s participation in the financing of the multi-purpose indoor practice facility that will be used by the Hawkeye Marching Band in addition to UI Recreational Services and the UI Athletics Department beginning next fall is not usual. In fact, it’s quite common. The following is a list of facilities on the UI campus built or renovated during the last 10 years and used primarily by the UI Athletics Department. All of those noted below have been or will be funded entirely (unless otherwise noted) with revenue generated by the UI Athletics Department.

  • (In progress: Football Practice Facility, 2014 ($55 million)
  • (In progress: Kinnick Stadium sound system, 2014 ($1 million)
  • (In progress: UI Recreation Building, windows replacement ($440,000*)
  • (In progress: Multi-Purpose Indoor Practice Facility ($5.5 million*)
  • Duane Banks Field infield turf project, 2013 ($400,000)
  • Kinnick Stadium Scoreboard/Messageboards, 2013 ($9.6 million)
  • Grant Field turf project, 2013 ($1.7 million)
  • Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, court resurfacing, 2013 ($500,000*)
  • Hoak Family Golf Facility, 2012 ($1.8 million)
  • Carver-Hawkeye Arena revitalization, 2011 ($43 million)
  • Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, 2010 ($9 million of $69 million project)
  • Cretzmeyer Track, 2009, ($2 million)
  • P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse, 2009 ($7.2 million)
  • Kinnick Stadium field drainage system and FieldTurf, 2009 ($2 million)
  • UI Recreation Building locker room renovation, 2009 ($3.25 million)
  • Kinnick Stadium renovation, 2006 ($89 million)
  • Soccer Field, 2006 ($400,000)
  • Grant Field, 2006 ($1.5 million)
  • Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, 2006 ($2.5 million of $14 million)

    *estimated UI Athletics Department contribution to project