The University of Iowa

The new Hancher Auditorium opens in fall 2016

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The new Hancher Auditorium is under construction just north of the location of the original facility. The building is scheduled to open in 2016.

Hancher Flythrough

Take a virtual trip through the new Hancher Auditorium!

Construction Webcam

See the construction site and watch a time-lapse history of the project here!

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Construction News

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Benzinga - Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Emerging from historic 2008 floods that devastated much of the arts campus at the University of Iowa, a new Hancher Auditorium and Voxman Music Building are near completion on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. Mortenson Construction acted as Construction Manager for both replacement facilities, which will open to the public later this summer, with students expected to start classes and performances at the venues this fall.
Presenters summer conference comes to Dubuque
When the University of Iowa’s Hancher auditorium was devastated by the historic flooding of 2008, it was the beginning of an eight-year road to recovery that will culminate this fall in its grand re-opening. In the process, a new building was sited, designed, built and funded by the efforts of countless individuals. For Chuck Swanson, the executive director of Hancher, it was a journey that proved the resiliency the center’s legacy, as well as the people who make it work.
The Hawk Eye - Sunday, June 19, 2016
Wow! As superlatives go, that’s the one that comes immediately to mind stepping into the performance hall last week at the new Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City.
The Daily Iowan - Tuesday, June 14, 2016
This week marks the eighth anniversary of the historic flood that devastated parts of Iowa City and the University of Iowa campus. In June 2008, the flood caused $230 million in damage and cleanup costs to the university. One-sixth of the campus buildings closed, with 20 sustaining damage. In celebration of several nearly completed flood-recovery projects, the Iowa City City Council voted June 6 to rename Clinton Street Inspiration Avenue for the 2016-17 school year.
Eight years after floods, the new Hancher Auditorium will open this fall
KWWL - Friday, June 10, 2016
A piece of Iowa City history -- restored after destruction. "It's exciting to be here," said Chuck Swanson, standing in the brand new Hancher Auditorium. Swanson, the auditorium's executive director, remembers the 2008 floods well. "Almost 8 years to the day, our original Hancher had padlocks put on the doors," he said. It never reopened. But this fall, a new 1,800 seat theater will replace it.
Workers moving office supplies, art into Hancher
KCRG - Thursday, June 2, 2016
It's moving time at Hancher Auditorium. This week, workers started moving office supplies and art work into the new building. Work on the new Hancher has been going on for several years after the 2008 floods destroyed the old building.
Hancher staff begins moving in
The Gazette - Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The “slow birthing” of Hancher is in the final phase of labor. It’s not time for tuxes and sequins just yet. Hard hats, safety glasses and vests are still de rigueur, and some interior sections are still restricted, to accommodate the push to the Sept. 9 ribbon-cutting and public unveiling. But Wednesday marked an emotional milestone, as Executive Director Chuck Swanson and his staff started moving into the University of Iowa’s new $113 million state-of-the-art performing arts center.
KCRG - Friday, February 12, 2016
Friday night (2/12/16) marks the end of an eight year, post-flood era for Hancher Auditorium. In 2008, a flood destroyed the auditorium's original structure. For the following eight years, Hancher has relied on venues and stages across the state to host performances as construction workers build a new $176 million, 192,000-square foot facility.
Iowa Public Radio - Friday, January 29, 2016
Hancher marks the end of their post-flood journey by closing out their 2015-16 season with the phenomenal 10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin. McFerrin will be joined by local musicians Damani Phillips (saxophone), Rich Wagor (bass), Ed East (percussion), and members of Iowa City’s Zion Lutheran Choir. Executive Director Charles Swanson fills us in on McFerrin’s concert and Hancher’s plans to move into their new performing arts center post flood of 2008.
KGAN CBS2 - Friday, January 29, 2016
Hancher Auditorium executive director Chuck Swanson says seeing the progress on the new performing arts venue makes him excited for the future. "I just keep focusing on that opening," Swanson said. "It's so close now." The floods of 2008 caused the old Hancher to be unusable. In 2013, construction crews broke ground to start building the new building. With the lights turned on and glossy wood ceilings throughout Hancher, the construction tools covering the floor means crews are working hard to push through the final stretch.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Thursday, January 14, 2016
This is the year project leaders — along with the greater university, Iowa City and state cultural communities — have been waiting for since the old Hancher was declared unusable following the flood of 2008. Hancher is poised for a grand return.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Saturday, January 9, 2016
In choosing the Person of the Year for 2015, it was the decision of the editorial board to look past the most heated moments of the year and instead turn to that which unites the people of this community: a commitment to the arts in Johnson County that makes this region a cultural capital of the state. For that reason, we have opted to choose Andre Perry, executive director of the Englert Theatre, and Chuck Swanson, executive director of Hancher Auditorium, to celebrate their place as leaders in the arts in and around Iowa City. Their passion and dedication to bringing multivariate attractions and entertainment to the area sets them apart as the worthiest contenders for the honor this calendar year.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Saturday, January 9, 2016
Chuck Swanson and Andre Perry are the principal conductors of Iowa City's thriving arts scene, drawing world-class artists to local stages, forging new partnerships locally and beyond, and reaching ever-greater audiences through innovative programming. For their efforts in taking the arts to new heights over the past 12 months through events such as the Englert's inaugural Witching Hour Festival, and in anticipation of what will be a historic 2016 highlighted by the the long-awaited rebirth of Hancher Auditorium, Perry and Swanson are the Press-Citizen's Co-Person's of the Year.
Corridor Business Journal - Monday, January 4, 2016
OPN Architects plans to open an office in Iowa City later this year, which leaders with the Cedar Rapids-based firm said will reaffirm the firm’s commitment to projects in the southern Corridor and Eastern Iowa. Since 2008, OPN has overseen several projects with the University of Iowa, perhaps most notably the new Hancher Auditorium, scheduled for completion sometime later this year. That project and others have contributed to a resurgence of development in the Corridor, which OPN Principal and President Daniel Thies believes will continue to generate additional work around Iowa City.
The Gazette - Thursday, December 31, 2015
The biggest thing on the 2016 entertainment scene isn't a show. It's the show of all showstopping showplaces, when the new 1,800-seat Hancher Auditorium opens its doors in the fall, closing yet another door in Corridor flood recovery. Closing out Hancher's final season on the road is Bobby McFerrin, the singer whose message of "Don't Worry, Be Happy," continues to inspire listeners. But the 10-time Grammy winner has such a wide range of vocal techniques and styles, that he can sound like a one-man band of lead vocals, harmonies, scat and polyphonic overtones. We can't wait to hear what he has in store for his Hancher milestone concert.
The Gazette - Monday, November 2, 2015
The University of Iowa’s new Voxman Music Building is already making a visual impact on the downtown landscape. And when it opens in August, students, faculty, and the community still will see plenty of sights before they hear the sounds. A new Hancher Auditorium is arising on the other side of the Iowa River and is expected to open in fall 2016. When a new UI Museum of Art eventually is built, it will go downtown next door to the music building.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Cylar Goss-Netser got a feel for carpentry alongside her own father and stepdad Tuesday at Hancher Auditorium. Goss-Netser, 15, a sophomore at Clear Creek Amana High School, was among 15 students from Johnson and surrounding counties who shadowed skilled trades workers on construction sites on the University of Iowa campus.
Iowa Public Radio - Saturday, September 26, 2015
With autumn in the air comes many exciting Iowa arts events. This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features Hancher’s upcoming season, plus their plans of moving into their new performing arts center during the spring of 2016 all outlined by Executive Director Charles Swanson.
Little Village - Thursday, September 10, 2015
Iowa City’s original Hancher Auditorium, destroyed in the 2008 flood, is being rebuilt from scratch. The new Hancher will seat 1,800 and is scheduled to host its first show in the Fall of 2016. Little Village recently sent photographer Rachel Jessen to document the ongoing project, and shed light on those who’ve worked tirelessly to bring a brick-and-mortar Hancher back to Iowa City.
Daily Iowan/DITV - Thursday, August 27, 2015
From sitting in the Hancher Auditorium audience as a child to performing on its stage and launching a career touring across the country, one successful Iowan is excited about the opening of the new Hancher. Susan Werner, who has a longtime Hancher connection as both a guest and performer, said the new facility will open up so many more doors than just a theater.
Iowa Now - Thursday, August 27, 2015
The grand opening of the new Hancher Auditorium is just over a year away, but getting closer every day. So why not celebrate now? Hancher host a free family event titled Drawing Closer: Celebrating Hancher’s Upcoming Opening on Saturday, Aug. 22, which included chalk artists, games, food, and a fantastic performance by Squonk Opera.
The Gazette - Sunday, August 23, 2015
Heavy metal soaring into the sky makes a perfect backdrop for heavy metal pouring over the masses. Pittsburgh’s Squonk Opera brought its air-powered sight and sound explosion to more than 1,000 people gathered Saturday on the grounds adjacent to the new Hancher Auditorium, which sports 4,400 tons of structural steel and, eventually, 14,000 stainless steel panels covering its exterior.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Saturday, August 22, 2015
Hancher Auditorium served as the background to street art, music and family fun Saturday afternoon in Iowa City. Hancher held a Drawing Closer event Saturday at the site of the soon-to-be-finished auditorium to let the community know that the University of Iowa performing venue is a year from being finished.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Thursday, August 20, 2015
City officials say they are working closely with directors of the new Hancher Auditorium to minimize the impact Iowa City’s $51 million Gateway Project will have on the building’s 2016 grand opening.
The Gazette - Thursday, August 20, 2015
Hancher is celebrating its new season with an event - "Drawing Closer" - that has multiple meanings. With just one more year before the University of Iowa's new flagship opens, Hancher launches its season Saturday (8/22/15) in the street and green space adjacent to the new structure. Festivities will incorporate chalk drawings by pros and participants and is aimed at drawing all ages to the massive $176 million performing arts complex rising like a phoenix after the floods ruined Hancher's previous home.
Little Village - Wednesday, August 19, 2015
In anticipation of a new grand opening in 2016, Hancher Auditorium will begin its 2015 campaign with a free event packed with art, food, games and more this Saturday, August 22 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Drawing Closer: Celebrating Hancher’s Upcoming Opening” is a family festival that will feature professional chalk artists, a STEAM workshop, and the band Squonk Opera.
KCCK - Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Rob Cline from Hancher says you should not miss the free performance of Squonk Opera Saturday in the parking lot where the new Hancher Auditorium is going up. "Drawing Closer" will feature sidewalk chalk art, kids' activities, and a musical performance featuring the giant "Lady Pneumatica."
Iowa Now - Monday, August 17, 2015
The University of Iowa's largest flood recovery project, Hancher, is getting comfortable within its own skin. The final covering has been applied to some parts of the building, and other preparations are well underway. Iowa Now provides you with intimate glimpses of the work done over the past few months.
Daily Iowan - Thursday, August 6, 2015
In a little more than a year, one of campus’s crown jewels will open its doors to welcome patrons as it casts its gleaming reflection on the river below. Construction on the new Hancher Auditorium is on track and on schedule to be mostly completed in March 2016, said Kim Zwald, an engineer with Mortenson Construction.
The Gazette - Thursday, June 18, 2015
While the Iowa River was flirting with its low-lying riverbanks Thursday afternoon, 200 workers were high and dry, continuing their quest to shape the new Hancher Auditorium inside and out. About 70 percent of the work is done, keeping the site on-track for its September 2016 grand opening.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Monday, June 15, 2015
In a meeting room on the third floor of Seashore Hall, which has served as a not-so-temporary office for Hancher's administrative staff during these post-flood years, there's a wall lined with calendar pages. For Chuck Swanson and his team, the wall serves as the blueprint for the historic transition between now and September 2016, when the new Hancher Auditorium, after the better part of a decade of planning and construction, at last raises its curtain.
Daily Iowan - Tuesday, May 12, 2015
This item is no longer available. The completion of the new Hancher Auditorium and other major campus construction projects in 2016 will mark the University of Iowa’s physical recovery from the devastating flood of 2008.
The Gazette - Sunday, April 26, 2015
Arguably the three largest flood replacement projects belong to the University of Iowa, with the $176 million Hancher Auditorium, $77 million Art Building and roughly $150 million Voxman School of Music.
Iowa Now - Monday, April 20, 2015
Images from past few months make 2016 seem so close yet so far away.
Iowa City Press-Citizen - Friday, March 20, 2015
Each morning on the Hancher Auditorium and School of Music construction sites, workers complete one important task before ever picking up a tool.
On October 7 and 8, Hancher is inviting members of the public to sign a steel beam that will then be lifted into place in the organization’s new facility. The “Leave Your Mark” event will also include a public ceremony featuring singer/songwriter Susan Werner on October 8.
Iowa Now - Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The University of Iowa is in the midst of a $1.2 billion historic transformation with a number of major building projects underway.
Iowa Now - Friday, May 23, 2014

Artists Wycliffe Gordon and Tomás Kubínek collaborated with Orchestra Iowa’s Maestro Tim Hankewich for a noon performance Wednesday, May 21, that will be a part of the new Hancher.