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UNI's McLeodUSA arena project receives boost from new gifts

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William Calhoun, vice president for University Advancement, (319) 273-6078
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing and Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Foundation has received new gifts totaling more than $300,000, all to be used for construction of the McLeodUSA Center.

John Martin, owner of Martin Brothers Inc., has pledged $160,000 to the multipurpose arena. Martin played basketball at UNI from 1967 to 1970.

Local auto dealers John and Dan Deery have made a commitment of $100,000. The Deerys are longtime supporters of the UNI Athletic Club.

Lee Enterprises, which owns the 'Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,' made a $65,000 donation.

William Calhoun, vice president for University Advancement, noted that more than $15 million has been raised for the $18 million project. He said more than $9 million of those funds have come from Cedar Valley residents and businesses. Facility enhancements totaling $1.5 million are being planned for the arena/UNI-Dome area, to be funded by landfill refund money from the city of Cedar Falls.

Construction of the arena is part of the $100 million 'Students First' campaign to support scholarships, academic programs and facilities. Other capital projects include McElroy Hall in Waterloo, which houses the Freeburg Early Childhood Program; a human performance center to be built onto the north end of the UNI-Dome; renovation of Lang Hall and Russell Hall; and equipment for McCollum Science Hall.