Return to Nicholas Johnson's Main Web Site

Return to Nicholas Johnson's Coralville Rain Forest Web Site

Coralville Site Panel Has 2 UI Students

Jennifer Lickteig

The Daily Iowan

April 26, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by The Daily Iowan, 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 Daily Iowan.]

The 21-member committee that will ponder possible uses of land formerly designated for the now-defunct Coralville rain forest will include two UI students, officials said Tuesday.

The initial gathering, scheduled for the second week in May, will be the first of many aimed at forging an identity for the community and the developing Iowa River Landing Site, near the Interstate 80 and First Avenue interchange.

UI senior Erin Marzen, who along with UI junior Laura Savage will generate ideas for Iowa City's neighbor, said she learned about the opportunity when Josh Schamberger, the president of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau, visited her Corporate Communications course.

"I called him up and said I'd love to do it," she said. "I'd really like to get involved in the community."

Having recently accepted a position as the blood-drive coordinator at the UI DeGowin Blood Center, she said she was interested in getting involved locally.

Schamberger, who was instrumental in organizing the panel, said finding willing students was a little difficult.

He went specifically to the local community-building organization, the James Gang, for help and discovered board member Laura Savage, he said.

"It's neat to get a chance to have a say in such a huge matter that's going on in the city," said Savage, who offered preoccupation with schoolwork and finals as possible reasons for the lackluster student response.

Also on the committee list are UI athletics academic coordinator Anthony Grant, Stacy McGauvran-Hruby, a co-director of planning and marketing for UI Hospitals and Clinics, and UI Associate Vice President David Grady.

"I think there's interesting potential for that site," Grady said. "I'm going to approach it with an open mind."

Meanwhile, Coralville city councilors took further steps to develop the area on Tuesday, passing an amendment to change an architectural contract for an intermodal facility, which will house bus terminals, parking, retail sites, and other facilities.

The revision spells out details of the U.S. Department of Transportation's contract with Neumann Monson, the project's architects. It is just one step in the process of attaining $14 million in federal funding.