U. of N. Iowa dedicates transit center

Posted on September 13, 2010

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) recognized the completion of the new Multimodal Transportation Center (MMTC) at a public dedication ceremony  on Aug. 27.  A reception and a historical transportation display was available for viewing after the ceremony.  The display features vintage cars and photographs depicting historical methods of transportation.

The ceremony opened with a welcome address and introductions by Tom Schellhardt, vice president for administration and financial services. Speakers included UNI President Ben Allen; Mokhtee Ahmad, director of region VII's Federal Transit Administration; David Miles, president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; Jon Crews, mayor of Cedar Falls; Buck Clark, mayor of Waterloo; Mark Little, executive director of Metropolitan Transit Authority; and Jenny Nulte, UNI Northern Iowa Student Government director of governmental relations. 

The MMTC is a collaboration among UNI, the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, designed to provide students, faculty, staff and visitors easier access to and within the campus and the surrounding communities.

The center features 587 parking spaces, an elevator, vending machines, a waiting area and restrooms in the pavilion as well as 10 lockers for bicycles. Additional improvements were made during construction to areas adjacent to the facility for added pedestrian safety.

The construction of the MMTC supports UNI's ongoing commitment to sustainable practices by reducing vehicular traffic around campus.  The solar panels installed above the facility's top deck ensure that maximum amounts of electricity can be generated through all four seasons.  The energy produced, working in conjunction with the building's geothermal heating system, supplies approximately all of the energy needs for the building, making it a net-zero building and one of Iowa's first.

One of the final construction projects was the installation of "City Mouse," a 2,500-pound stainless steel sculpture designed and constructed by Chicago native Andrew Arvanetes.  The sculpture was created at UNI in 2002 while Arvanetes was an artist in residence.  Since that time, "City Mouse" has been included in numerous exhibitions, including venues in Chicago, Florida, Texas, Iowa and Colorado. 

The installation of the sculpture is part of the Iowa Art in State Buildings Program, which ensures that fine arts projects are included in state building construction projects.


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