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Rain Forest Deadline: May 1, 2009

Adam Pracht

Iowa City Press-Citizen

July 6, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

CORALVILLE A $180 million project that would build a 4.5-acre enclosed rain forest now has some hard-and-fast dates for completion.

Nancy Quellhorst, vice-president of The Environmental Project, said the organization approved a memorandum of understanding with KUD International Tuesday, meaning that both parties expressed their intention to have KUD oversee the construction of the project.

KUD would coordinate all aspects of the construction phase of the project, expected to anchor the planned Iowa River Landing Development southeast of Interstate 80 and First Avenue. That would include financing, design, engineering and actual construction.

As part of the agreement, KUD would guarantee on-budget and on-time delivery of the project. Once the project finishes raising the final $90 million needed, which Quellhorst said they were working to complete by Oct. 31, 2006, KUD would guarantee completion of the project by May 1, 2009. KUD would guarantee completion of the construction phase of the project for less than $160 million.

KUD will be paid about $820,000 for pre-construction work, such as pulling together designers and engineers and preparing construction documents. The total amount that would be paid to KUD across four years would be $5.5 million.

Construction should begin between October 2006 and January 2007, according to the documents.