UNI dedicates first net-zero bulding on campus

The University of Northern Iowa, in conjuction  with the city of Cedar Falls, the city of Waterloo and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, dedicated the long-awaited $14.8 million Multimodal Transportation Center Friday.  The Multimodal Transportation Center is one of Iowas first net-zero buildings, which means that it is a facility that generates its own energy.
uni4256627004.jpgThe dedication began at 1  p.m. at the top of the Multimodal Transportation Center, and featured several speakers, refreshments, and several vintage cars and photographs.

The most important issue on any campus is parking, President Benjamin Allen joked. That will get a president fired faster than anything, is if you cant solve the parking problem.

According to a UNI press release, the Multimodal Transportation Center  boasts 587 parking spaces, an elevator, vending machines, a waiting area and restrooms in the pavilion as well as 10 lockers for bicycles.  The Center also provides public parking, including meter and handicapped parking, as well as G Reserved, A and B student parking.

The project, which Allen called a marathon, began on June 22, 1999 and has gone through many modifications, including two site changes.     

Mokhtee Ahmad, director of Federal Transit Administration Region IV, kept things light as he joked about scouting sites in Iowas cold winters and also about UNIs two site changes.  Ahmad also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.

I can truly say that I am really proud to be from the federal government and it is my pleasure to have worked with you, Ahmad said.  From my family we want to say thank you UNI for giving me a small opportunity to pay the great state of Iowa for the great education provided to my sister and I.

UNI worked alongside the federal government to create an energy-efficient building that can be an inspiration to students wanting a green initiative and also for future builders.  Nine hundred solar panels and a geothermal pump keep the lights on and the pavilion as cool or warm as needed for Iowas seasons.

The federal government paid for 80 percent of the cost and UNIs 20 percent came from the value of the land and parking funds. said Pat Geadelmann, special assistant to the president for governmental relations, who was also thanked by Allen for being so critically important.

This is a project that is an example of how we should be operating now and in the future.  Collaboration between units on this campus, collaboration between entities in this community, and collaboration up and down the state level...this is a perfect example, said  Allen.
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