Design Concept Released for New Iowa Courthouse

By Lisa Kopochinski

DES MOINES, Iowa—The U.S. General Services Administration recently released the approved design concept for the $136.6 million new U.S. Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa. The design concept remains subject to minor modifications, according to budgetary, operational and security requirements.

The architects on this project are Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, Georgia (leader designer), and Neumann Monson Architects of Des Moines. The new 230,000-square-foot courthouse will feature nine courtrooms and will replace the 87-year-old courthouse and a leased office annex on the east bank of the Des Moines River.

“GSA is focused on delivering the best value in real estate to our federal partners and the American people,” said Heartland Public Buildings Service Regional Commissioner Kevin Rothmier.  “We will continue to work with our intergovernmental partners and the Des Moines community as we fulfill the Judiciary’s request, as authorized by Congress, for a new federal courthouse for the Southern District of Iowa.”

Calling this an important step toward building a functional, secure and critically needed courthouse that will serve the court and the public for many decades, Chief Judge John A. Jarvey of Des Moines added, “The court appreciates our partnership with GSA, the architects, builders, and staff in this ongoing collaborative effort. This is a great project for Des Moines, the court, and the entire Southern District of Iowa.”

Working with the federal Judiciary, the design will satisfy the housing needs of the Southern District of Iowa in a secure and cost-efficient manner. The finished project is expected to save millions in taxpayer-funded lease costs as tenants are relocated from a leased Courthouse Annex at 110 E. Court Ave.

The mission of the U.S. General Services Administration is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government. One of GSA’s four strategic objectives is to save taxpayer money through better management of federal real estate. More than $10 million has been invested in the project so far.

With a completion date slated for fall 2022, construction is tentatively scheduled to start this fall on the Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc) project.

Contracts were awarded to Jacobs Technology (Construction Manager as Agent, CMa); and Ryan Companies US, Inc. ​(Construction Manager as Constructor, CMc).