IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) _ One of the most prominent casualties of the 2008 flood on the University of Iowa campus is finally reopening.

The university will open the ground floor of the Iowa Memorial Union to the public Wednesday for the first time since it closed in 2008, hammered by flood waters from the Iowa River.

The space had long been at the heart of campus life, where students had activities, studied, ate and gathered. But several classes of students have graduated without enjoying its existence.

It took a $21 million construction project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to restore the ground floor to its pre-flood condition.

It will feature a food court, a book store, a student lounge and performance venue, a coffee shop and a TV lounge and study area.