Des Moines University held its public groundbreaking event today to commemorate the start of construction of its new campus on 88 acres in West Des Moines. The address is 8025 Grand Avenue.
In a public gathering at the new property, University President and Chief Executive Officer Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D., presided over a ceremony recognizing the beginning of construction on the site. She unveiled detailed renderings of the new campus buildings and grounds. Access the digital newsroom, images and project timeline here.
“Today, we celebrate the strong future of growth and innovation for DMU and commemorate the beginning of this new chapter in the evolution of our University,” said President Franklin. “During the last 18 months we have been working fast and creatively through the campus master planning and design process. Our future has never been stronger and more promising.”
DMU’s partners in this venture are RDG Planning & Design as the architectural firm, Turner Construction as the general contractor and Formation Group is the University’s representative.
The University is scheduled to occupy the new campus in 2023, its 125th anniversary.
“This move is made more exciting by the expansion and enhancements we recognize within the city of West Des Moines and its commitment to providing the finest quality of life for its citizens, businesses and organizations,” she said.
Special story of the land
The University made several fascinating discoveries when researching the history of the site. Much of the land is flat, but it gives rise to a hill in the north section. That hillside is what is known to geologists as the “edge of advancement” of what was the Wisconsin Glacier. More than 10,000 years ago it moved south across North America shaping the land as it inched forward. Specifically, this parcel of land is the product of the Des Moines Lobe of the glacier. It came to rest at the center of this property and created the definition of the hill over the flat expanse of land.
“As we build our new university from the ground up, I promise you that from the first days, all of us involved in this project have been mindful of making respectful use of this property and to build with the highest standards of sustainability and ecological responsibility,” President Franklin said.
In partnership with RDG Planning & Design, DMU will build its new campus with distinct and compelling architecture, design and landscaping. “We want to be a premier destination for our students, faculty, staff and friends of DMU, especially for our new home community of West Des Moines,” she said.