By Gage Miskimen
In a letter sent to members earlier this month, the University of Iowa announced it would close the University Club on Sept. 4, 2018.
For now, the future of the Melrose Avenue building and the property is uncertain.
Rod Lehnertz, the UI senior vice president for Finance and Operations, told The Daily Iowan in an email that more details about the facility’s future will be provided at the August state Board of Regents’ meeting.
“We are currently studying potential uses of the surrounding site in conjunction with the original permission to proceed approved by the Board of Regents …” he said.
In September 2016, the regents approved plans for an estimated $8 million to $10 million Finkbine Clubhouse and support facility project, which would replace the University Club property. It would be funded by Athletics Department gifts; no state appropriations would be used.
According to regent documents, “The replacement facility would be approximately 20,000 gross square feet on two levels. The space would include men’s and women’s locker rooms, a retail Pro Shop, administrative offices, dining/kitchen areas, and special-events space. Accommodations for the golf-cart fleet, driving-range operations, and equipment storage would also be incorporated into the design.”
Lehnertz said in a letter cosigned by Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin sent to members on June 7 that over the next 15 months, the club will continue to honor memberships and events, putting on programs, dinners, holiday functions, and private restaurant service.
In an email to the DI, UI media-relations director Anne Bassett provided membership numbers for the University Club in the last five years, and they show that overall membership has mostly declined since 2013.
In 2013, there were 598 members. There are now 440 members, a slight increase from 396 members in 2016.
Along with the membership number, Bassett provided the DI with the club’s expenses and revenue for the last fiscal year.
The club’s expenses totaled nearly $1.18 million, with its revenue climbing not much higher at $1.19 million.