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The north end zone hasn't been renovated since 1983. Danny Lawhon/HawkCentral.com

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IOWA CITY — With approval from the Board of Regents next week, an elaborate renovation of Kinnick Stadium’s North End Zone can officially begin.

The Regents will be asked to approve an $89.9 million budget — a far more costly price tag than the July 2015 estimate of $35 million to $45 million — for the Iowa athletics department to deliver what head football coach Kirk Ferentz called a “spectacular” vision.

According to the Regents documents made public Tuesday, the project would replace the existing cramped, general-admission quarters in the North End Zone with “upper and lower general admission seating bowls, two general admission concourses and a premium club level.” The club level could also be used for “non-game-day uses.”

The proposal calls for a new skywalk to be installed between the West Campus Transportation Center to provide club-level access.

This would be the first multi-tiered portion of Kinnick Stadium. According to the documents and artist's renderings supplied to the Register, the lower level would provide standard seating, while the upper level would have seating plus “open decks at the east and west ends with views to the field and places where fans can congregate.”

“To me, this is the next step,” Ferentz said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “I’ve seen some drawings, and they just look spectacular. And we’ve already got an unbelievable stadium.”

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The North End Zone hasn't been renovated at Kinnick since 1983, and this would follow the late-2014 completion of the immaculate $55 million Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center. Athletics director Gary Barta has been determined to keep Kinnick's capacity (currently 70,585) above 70,000 while working with architects in planning the renovation.

“If we want to be a first-class program, we need to keep pushing forward,” Ferentz said. “We certainly hit the jackpot with this building.”

Construction, if approved, would begin prior to the 2017 season, with the lower/upper level seating in place by the 2018 season. According to the documents, "all construction is to be complete" before the 2019 season. Total seating the renovated end zone would be 10,234 — 8,516 general admission, 1,570 outdoor club seats and 148 loge/premium patio space.

The Regents meet Oct. 19-20 in Cedar Falls.

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