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Hancher Auditorium to See A Rebirth

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--One University of Iowa building is seeing a rebirth.

Hancher auditorium is currently undergoing a $132 million reconstruction.

The building was destroyed in the floods of 2008, but thanks to the help of FEMA and other donations, the university is rebuilding.

New Hancher is about 20 percent complete and from the work they've put it in so far, officials tell me, flood or no flood, it's not going anywhere.

It may be foggy outside, but the work continues out here at the new Hancher construction site.

We got a chance to tour the area and let's just say things are pretty busy.

"Right now obviously we're in the middle of concrete. There's over 20-thousand yards of concrete in New Hancher, said Randy Clarahan, Mortenson Construction Executive.

It's all part of rebuilding what was for decades the gathering place of artists from all over the world.

"I hear a lot of stories where people said that Hancher was their first date. People become engaged at Hancher. The stories go on and on and on, said Hancher Executive Director, Chuck Swanson, but the music ended in 2008 when floodwaters destroyed the old Hancher building.

"We were just...of course very sad. It was a difficult time for us, he said.

Swanson says the flood was a blessing in disguise because now not too far from old Hancher a new Hancher is being resurrected, and it's flood proof.

"The stage level of New Hancher compared to the stage level of old Hancher is about 12 feet or more higher, Clarahan said.

That means even if there is another flood like the one five years ago Hancher will be safe.

"There are thousands of people waiting till the day we can open this place. It's going to be great, Swanson said.

Opening day is still three years from now in the fall of 2016.

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