Sioux City Journal, IA 12-14-06

Sioux City Journal, IA
ISU design school could open on Historic Fourth in 2007
By Bret Hayworth, Journal staff writer
When Nathan Kalaher was thinking about ideas on where to place a universitylevel institution that would draw on Sioux City's distinctive architecture, he kept
picturing a location on Historic Fourth Street.
Eighteen months after being unveiled as a piece of the Sioux City Great Places
puzzle, the school will get off the ground. It was announced Wednesday that
studio instruction space for a satellite program of the Iowa State University
College of Design will be placed in the area Kalaher envisioned.
Kalaher, a Sioux City Great Places Committee co-chairman, said that made the
most sense, since Historic Fourth Street, with its eclectic shops and bars
providing night life, is the area in Sioux City that college students will relish.
"The site was actually an easy choice," Kalaher said, citing it in the "vibrant,
intellectual, creative area" of the city.
The satellite design college will be located a half-block south of Beth's Flowers,
1014 Fourth St., near Tom Foolery's Pub and adjacent to "a very historic brick
alleyway," Kalaher said. The former boiler/steam generation building likely dates
to the late 19th century, and is "one of the oldest buildings in town," he added.
The site will have a 32-foot-high atrium, concrete elevator shaft with cantilevering
concrete stairs and an exhibit hall in a tunnel beneath the alley, with glass
manholes above for viewing. "It is going to be a very interactive place," Kalaher
A Great Places grant of $530,000 will be used to purchase and renovate the
building. Ownership of the building will be by the nonprofit Siouxland Chamber
Foundation and it will be leased by Iowa State University.
Mark Englebrecht, dean of the ISU College of Design, said the Sioux City
satellite was approved by ISU officials, and didn't need approval by the Iowa
Board of Regents. He said a big selling point was "this core of passion you have
with young, talented people" in Sioux City.
About 6,000 square feet will be available for undergraduate and graduate
students to create their projects, many of which will be experimental and eyeopening, said Englebrecht.
Englebrecht said the design school could open in summer 2007 and would
accommodate about 15 to 20 students once fully operational. Englebrecht said
"our students are interested in real projects, in real products," and would be more
than willing to leave Ames for Sioux City to undertake their work. He said ISU
students could spend much of or a full semester in Sioux City rather than being in
Said Englebrecht, "We are both pleased and excited by the opportunity to use
the Great Places initiative in Sioux City as a vehicle for the regular studio work of
our senior students and faculty, and to contribute to the revitalization of this
historic city."
Englebrecht also noted he had been working for five years on an addition to the
college in Ames. After seeing the speed with which the Sioux City college took
off, he joked, "I don't know why I don't move the whole dang college to Sioux
Bret Hayworth may be reached at (712) 293.4203 or
Read more in Hayworth's Politically Speaking blog at