February 2024

University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Construction isn’t about bricks, steel, and building materials. It’s about people, and at JE Dunn Construction, the relationships forged have been key to the company’s success since day one.

JE Dunn’s relationship with the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics goes back to 2010, with the completion of the Iowa River Landing project in Coralville, Iowa.

The relationship continued to blossom, with JE Dunn completing the Kinnick Stadium North Endzone project and the Main Operating Room (MOR) Controls Upgrade project in the hospital.

Setting the stage back in 2010, one successful project after another helped establish a trust and bond with the client.

“Sometimes relationships help to push the door open, but then you have to prove yourself,” said Marcia Youker, JE Dunn client solutions vice president. “Our operations team does this time and time again.”

Over time, the Design & Construction (D&C) team for the University began managing the construction process for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics projects.

 “Now the UI D&C representative who worked with us on the Kinnick Stadium project is coordinating with us on the healthcare side as well. That really helped our relationship on both sides,” Youker said.

In 2020, JE Dunn was awarded the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics project at Forevergreen Road. The $363 million project is in progress now and is expected to be completed at the end of 2024. The Forevergreen project was budgeted during Covid, which JE Dunn Vice President Shelly Koehler said was difficult because costs changed drastically.

“We worked through that together,” Koehler said.

JE Dunn then secured the win on a billion-dollar project that will begin in October 2025. The project is still in the very early stages of planning now, and Koehler and her team are working with the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to make their vision a reality.

Essentially, the project will include nearly one million square feet of new and renovated hospital space, with private, single-bed rooms built next to the existing medical center. The new Inpatient Tower will include radiology, central sterile, parking, security, mechanical and other support spaces, a lobby, kitchen, and operating rooms.

The relationship between JE Dunn and the University of Iowa has been paramount to the overall project successes for the University.

“When you do a billion-dollar project, it is not just a commodity-driven deal,” said Koehler. “It’s all about the relationship.” It’s not lost on either party just how important the relationship is and how important it is to work through things as a team.

“It’s so refreshing,” she said. “It goes back to our company values: We are all in, we are JE Dunn, and we are all in together, and that is so precious.”