Posted on 05/14/2014 at 12:14 PM by YMCA of Greater Des Moines
May 13, 2014
Executives from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and the YMCA of Greater Des Moines have announced plans to explore a new YMCA and student activities complex on the DMACC Ankeny Campus. The project was approved last night by the DMACC Board of Directors. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines Board of Directors will consider the project later in the summer.
The facility will include a proposed YMCA connecting onto Buildings 4 and 5 that will be renovated and will house a food court, book store, student activity space, classrooms and study areas. Rob Denson, President and CEO of DMACC, said a very preliminary estimate puts the total project cost at $23 million.
"This partnership with the YMCA of Greater Des Moines is a wonderful opportunity to pool our financial resources for the benefit of our students and Ankeny area residents. It's another example of what public - private partnerships in Central Iowa can accomplish," said Denson. "The YMCA will be responsible for the cost of the YMCA space and DMACC will cover the connector and renovation of Buildings 4 and 5. Both will benefit greatly from the synergy of the combined use facility. It is also good that DMACC will be expanding its capacity to attract, educate and train additional skilled workers as the Cultivation Corridor attracts new businesses to Central Iowa."
Vernon Delpesce, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, said the new location will be an exciting addition and provide an opportunity to better serve its members throughout the Ankeny Community and surrounding area. "We need a bigger, more modern facility to meet the growing needs of Ankeny," said Delpesce. "We envision this state-of-the-art health and wellness center to serve many audiences. It will be a showcase facility."
The new YMCA will be a typical community YMCA facility similar to the Waukee YMCA with enhancements to be agreed upon between DMACC and the YMCA. The Ankeny YMCA is currently located within Northview Middle School.
"This joint complex is a giant leap forward for us," said Dr. Kim Linduska, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost of the Ankeny Campus. "It will make our Campus even more attractive and greatly improve the quality of the student experience. This comes at a time when more students are choosing to take advantage of private housing options around the Ankeny Campus."
Students today expect state-of-the-art learning and activity facilities. It will strengthen our student community and help them better connect to us and their peers. Studies show that increased engagement leads to higher retention rates and better grades for students," said Linduska.
RDG Planning & Design based in Des Moines was selected as the project architect. "The YMCA and student center will serve as the new focal point of the Campus," said Al Oberlander, Principal at RDG Planning and Design. "The new building and remodeling will be designed as a destination for social and recreational activity as well as providing sales of food and books. The completed facility will use an open interior concept providing views of various activity areas for all who walk through the building. The result should promote healthy lifestyles and showcase student center activities," predicted Oberlander.
He said the RDG team assigned to the project will immediately begin working on conceptual designs and predicts they will hire a contractor around the first of the year. Construction will start in the Spring of 2015 with completion set for 16 to 24 months. Construction on new parking to accommodate the building complex will begin later this summer.
Denson said RDG has broad experience designing college and university student and recreation centers across the country. Recent examples include the University of Iowa, University of Florida and University of Michigan to name a few.
Linduska noted that DMACC students, faculty and staff will also be able to use the YMCA facilities. Additionally, the campus will benefit from the program opportunities the Y will bring to DMACC, such as youth camps and collaboration with DMACC health science students.
RDG created the Ankeny Campus master plan in 1967 and has since designed many of the campus buildings. "We've been a part of the Ankeny Campus since the very beginning," said Oberlander who as a young architect worked on plans for Building 1, Student Services and Building 5, Student Center in the early 1980s. "It's exciting to be part of the Campus' growth during DMACC's 50th Anniversary in 2015 and 2016. This new facility will set the stage for the College's next phase of growth."
The YMCA of Greater Des Moines serves 66,000 members through 11 branches in Central Iowa and is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening Central Iowa communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.