A historic building and a center dedicated to preventing violence will be rededicated in public events at the University of Northern Iowa on Friday.

A rededication ceremony for the Nielsen Field House will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17 at the Nielsen Field House at 1400 W. 19th St. The event will include remarks by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley and a performance by the Panther Marching Band.

The Nielsen Field House was completed in the fall of 1958 at a cost of $2.5 million. Thirty years later, the building was renamed after Ross A. Nielsen, the longtime Price Laboratory School director who had retired two years prior. Nielsen spent the last 24 years of his nearly 40-year career in UNI’s teaching department as the school’s director.  

Two programs have found a permanent home in the field house over the years. 

The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) started as a UNI extension program in 1981. Six years later it was granted host status and a UNI Panther battalion was established, eventually settling at the Nielsen Field House. The ROTC is a group of college and university-based training programs that prepare and commission U.S. Armed Forces officers.

Founded in 1970 to provide childcare for students attending classes, what is now known as the UNI Child Development Center (CDC) found a permanent home in the Nielsen Field House in 1992. 

In Fall 2020, the Nielsen Field House was expanded to provide more space for the growing ROTC program and the Department of Military Science. Renovations include new offices, classrooms, a lounge and meeting spaces for the department. The gymnasium has also been transformed, now featuring a fully equipped new weight room dedicated to ROTC.

The UNI Center for Violence Prevention will also be rededicated Friday at a ceremony that will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Commons Georgian Lounge.



Steve Schmadeke