After eight long years the new Hancher Auditorium gets its debut


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A new auditorium at the University of Iowa is set to be open after the original space was damaged by flooding.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the original Hancher Auditorium opened in 1972. It was damaged beyond repair by a 2008 flood and the building’s demolition started in 2013.

The new 1,800-seat auditorium features silver-green padded chairs, eight sets of gallery seats above the orchestra level and two balconies. It’s scheduled to be unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

The auditorium has a stage that is 13 feet higher than the old stage. The entire building is also 7 feet above the Iowa River’s 500-year flood level.

The construction of the new auditorium cost $176 million and has been eight years in the making.

An hour-long dedication ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9, on the stage, followed by an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Another open house will run from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11. Admission is free and no tickets are needed.