Governor Branstad and state leaders release statements on University of Iowa Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East Facilities
Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds, Board of Regents President Craig Lang, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Administrator Mark Schouten, and University of Iowa President Sally Mason today released the below statements upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) official response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General report on the replacement decisions for the University of Iowa’s Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East facilities. The official FEMA response to the OIG report reaffirms FEMA’s commitment to moving forward with replacing these important facilities.
Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds issued the following joint statement: “We are glad FEMA has stood by their previous commitments to the State and the University of Iowa. Common sense seems to be gaining the upper hand in this Federal policy dispute. We recently surpassed the four-year anniversary of the flooding event and the University’s recovery from the 2008 floods cannot be delayed further. We appreciate the Iowa congressional delegation’s active involvement in this issue and FEMA leadership’s openness to discuss our concerns regarding continued delays.”
Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds continued: “Today we wrote Secretary Napolitano asking for a final decision from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to end this Federal bureaucratic squabble soon and allow the University of Iowa to fully recover from the historic 2008 floods.”
Board of Regents President Craig Lang stated the following: “The Board of Regents thanks FEMA for reinforcing its commitment to flood recovery at the University of Iowa. The Board greatly appreciates the contributions of Iowa’s congressional delegation, the Governor’s office and Iowa Homeland Security in reaffirming the critical nature of this funding for the University’s recovery. With the passage of four years since the devastating flooding on the UI campus, we must avoid further delays in the restoration of the Arts Campus, for our students and for the citizens of Iowa. The process has been at intermission for too long. It is time to proceed toward the last act.”
University of Iowa President Sally Mason said: “Speaking for the entire University, particularly our 31,000 students, we are very pleased with the forceful reaffirmation from FEMA’s national leadership to replace Hancher, the School of Music and Art Building East. We continue to be extremely grateful and thankful for the support of Governor Branstad, our congressional delegation, the Board of Regents and the Office of Iowa Homeland Security.”
Mark Schouten, Administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, stated the following: “We appreciate that FEMA leadership has reaffirmed previous decisions by FEMA Region VII to replace the Hancher Voxman Clapp and Art Building East facilities. This brings the University of Iowa one step closer to moving forward on replacing these important facilities. We stand ready to answer any questions from Secretary Napolitano and we stand firm in our belief that the FEMA interpretation is sound and the most cost-effective path forward. The Governor has discussed this matter with Administrator Fugate multiple times and the Lt. Governor recently visited the damaged facilities on the University of Iowa campus. We are all appreciative of the bipartisan support from our congressional delegation on this issue. It’s high time for this issue to be resolved and for these buildings to be replaced.”