CYTown to be built in floodplain, Iowa State addresses concerns

A new $200 million development, called “CYTown,” will expand the fan experience for Iowa State football and basketball in Ames.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:24 AM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (WOI) - A new $200 million development, called “CYTown,” will expand the fan experience for Iowa State football and basketball in Ames.

However, there are concerns about where they plan to build it.

The site for CYTown would lay across three acres known for flooding in the past. Floods have affected the area north of Jack Trice Stadium as recently as 2010.

According to FEMA’s website, the site is in what it calls a special flood hazard area with a one percent chance of flooding each year.

During a news conference on Monday, Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said there’s no reason to worry about what happened 12 years ago from happening again.

“Anybody that thinks, ‘They’re building this in a floodplain?’ We are, but it’s been mitigated,” Jamie Pollard, Iowa State Athletic Director said during a press conference Monday. “It’s got to be built up to the requirement of how high it needs to be to sustain flood.”

The chair of Iowa State’s geological and atmospheric department says being in a floodplain means there’s always a chance it will flood, no matter how it’s improved.

“The chance of getting a 500 year flood in any given year is way higher than winning the lottery. Yet, people go out and buy tickets,” said Dr. Kristie Franz, the chair of Iowa State’s geological and atmospheric department.

The first phase of the project includes grading of the land, as well as water and storm sewer drainage improvements. It’s set to start next year.