Editor's note: The following story has been updated to clarify that the university pulled out of the P3 due to museum accreditation costs, not costs resulting from the partnership.
- The University of Iowa has decided to pull out of the planned public-private partnership (P3) to build its new Museum of Art, citing estimated project costs of almost $80 million, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.
- UI announced last year that it would partner with a private donor, the Hodge Group and Mortenson Construction to replace the previous museum, which flooded in 2008.
- UI officials said the total pre-development costs so far are a little more than $2 million and that the university will absorb the expenditures.
Dave Kieft, the university's business manager, told the Press-Citizen that UI worked with architects and developers in an effort to reduce the costs but were stymied by the accreditation requirements of housing an art collection. Now with the future of the project in limbo, Kieft said the university is considering all of its options.
On the positive side, according to UI officials, the planning and design that happened over the last year can be used in the future so that the university won't be "starting from zero" when it is able to move forward with the museum.
P3s are often cited as ways to save a project money and time, not to mention that the private part of the equation usually performs the work and assumes much of the risk.
Texas officials credited the P3 structure with the early opening of the recently renovated LBJ Express highway, and Canada has also experienced a degree of success with P3s and said the strategy helped to trim $2 billion off the cost of a light rail project in Toronto.