Iowa University has announced that the date for the grand opening of its new residence hall will be on July 28th. It will increase the campus’s capacity to accommodate students to over 7,000 students- solving the problem with increased on-campus housing demand.

The Announcement

The University of Iowa has announced that the date for Catlett Hall, its new residence hall’s, grand opening will be on July 28th. The hall will be the largest residence building on campus. It was also named  “Catlett Hall” after Elizabeth Catlett, one of the first three “MFA” graduates  from the university, and the first black woman to get the degree.

The residence hall will have three towers, all overlooking Iowa River, and will have amenities including a café, a marketplace, study rooms , laundry facilities and lounges. It will be located on the west side of Iowa’s Currier and Burge residence halls on Madison Street.

Its construction was a $95 million project, pushed by an increasing demand of on-campus housing. This increased demand has recently pushed other residence halls to make double rooms accommodate three people and even transform lounges into “makeshift dorm rooms.” The new building will reportedly increase the housing capacity of the university to over 7,000 students.

About Elizabeth Catlett

“Elizabeth Catlett’s achievements stand as a testament to the longstanding excellence of arts education at the UI and to the rewards of persevering in the face of daily obstacles,” said the student life vice president, Tom Rocklin, who also put together the proposal for the building.

Lena Hill, an English and African American Studies professor at the university commented on the honor of being a student living in that building: “Not only may UI students soon live in a residence hall named after a woman who was not allowed to live on campus because of her race, but they might also live with her art: the truest testament of her contribution to our legacy of creative excellence,” she said. “I think the UI is ready to engage both parts of the history Catlett’s achievements embody.”

“I have always wanted my art to service black people,” Catlett had said to Samella Lewis in “Art: African American”. “To reflect us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.”

“We see in her sculptures and prints depictions of ordinary persons, sometimes engaged in everyday activities but nevertheless embodying in their expressive figure types a rough-hewn and resolute human spirit,” said UI Art School’s director and professor, John Beldon Scott.

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