Iowa Hall remodel gives new life to student spaces

Students study in Iowa Hall
Left to right: Business major Abass Duvel, Liberal Arts major Ramses Vergara, Liberal Arts major Ami Stevens and Liberal Arts major Emily Meth study on the second floor of Iowa Hall on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. PHOTO BY DEBRA MCROBERTS

After two and a half years, partly delayed due to the pandemic and shipment crisis, Iowa Hall is fully open to students and with much to offer.  

Built in 1975 and a few updates between the years, Iowa Hall experienced a complete remodel making it accessible for students.  

“We started the construction project in March 2020. We’ve been working on it for a few years and finally opened it up but we’ve been working on the project for probably close to four and half years,” said Student Life Director Seth VanderTuig.  

He added, “Our architecture groups and 40 or 50 students from international students, veterans, nursing students, business students, students part of the LGBTQ+ community, basically any student from any background, they wanted three things: Natural light, a variety of seating options and power outlets.” 

Each of the three floors have different features. 

“The first floor is the café and the Eagle Shop, as well as our stage area and art gallery. The first floor is really a place to eat, to hang out, it’s a place to make some noise and have events,” VanderTuig explained.  

While the stage area is on the first floor, students can view it from the second floor as well. The café offers a variety of food and drinks from grab and go to custom sandwiches and pizza. It also provides easy access to Cedar Hall. 

“The second floor has more focus on diversity, inclusion and collaboration. 

“Our Global Learning office is on the second floor, our veterans lounge, the Kirkwood Pride lounge, the multicultural lounge and Student Life lounge,” said VanderTuig.  

He added, “It’s really an area for students from all different backgrounds as well as student clubs and organizations to come together to collaborate, or also find a nice quiet spot to study.”  

According to VanderTuig, the second floor also features the information desk, a coffee shop and the main event space where orientations, campus visit days and a variety of other activities are hosted.

 The second floor also connects Kirkwood Hall and Nielsen Hall. 

“The third floor has the reflection room, the student food pantry and the majority of our student services offices. So, everything from Admissions, to Financial Aid, Dean of Students office, Student Support, Counseling Services and Career Services,” VanderTuig said.  

Iowa Hall has become the place to eat, study and meet new people from different backgrounds. It’s a safe place to celebrate diversity and learn more about the communities at Kirkwood. 

VanderTuig said, “The most exciting thing about Iowa Hall, there’s something for everyone here.”

Image courtesy of Debra McRoberts

Categories: Feature