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Campus Construction Projects

Just like Greater Des Moines, Drake University is improving more and more every year. We're changing our spaces to make them more accessible, make learning more interactive, and add elements of fun to campus. We are also focused on including our community and making sustainable choices. Take a look at what is being worked on, what has been finished, and what is to come.

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In Progress Projects

What's Next

Completed Projects


In Progress Projects

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement

Project Description: 16,000-square-feet, $8.75 million. A model of universal design.

Project Location: 28th St. and University Ave.

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: late Fall 2020, the 30 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

More Information:

February 14, 2019, September 24, 2019The Harkin Institute

Home2 Suites by Hilton

Project Description: 86,000-square-feet, including 11,000-square-feet of ground floor commercial space. 124 room extended stay hotel. Representing a $28 million investment in the neighborhood.

Project Location: 26th St. and University Ave.

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: August 2020

More Information:

Home2 Suites Hotel Website

October 31, 2017October 8, 2018April 26, 2017

This project is led by Nelson Construction & Development 

University Ave. Streetscape

Project Description: Initiated by the City of Des Moines sewer separation project. Implementing the 2007 conceptual plan (revised) to improve pedestrian safety, public transit nodes, and to integrate the campus, neighborhood and Dogtown business district.

Project Location: University Ave. from 25th St. to 31st St.

University Ave. Streetscape Concept

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: Summer 2020

More Information:

November 18, 2019September 24, 2019

This project is a partnership, led by the City of Des Moines.

Hubbell Dining Hall

Project Description: Remodel of Hubbell Dining hall kitchen and Quad Creek spaces, refreshing of the kitchen space, serving stations, and dining experience.

Project Location: Hubbell Dining Hall

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: Summer 2020

More Information:

This spring, in partnership with our food service partner Sodexo, we embarked on a multi-million-dollar renovation of Hubbell Dining Hall. The new design provides more diverse meal stations and options. 

Bulldog Statue

Project Description: There will be a new plaza in front of Old Main featuring a bronze bulldog statue in the likeness of Drake University’s live mascot, Griff. The bulldog statue is positioned in a way to create a unique photo opportunity for visitors and the campus community with Old Main in the background.

Project Location: University Ave. in front of Old Main

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: Summer 2020

More Information:

This project is made possible by a generous donation from Bob and Pam Lees on behalf of three generations of Drake alumni that includes Robert R. Lees (LA'50, GR'55), Robert H. Lees (LA'74), Christina A. Lees (Gause) (BN'98), and Brian D. Lees (BN'99). 

Nelson Construction & Development

Project Description: 135 new residential units, 6,000-square-feet of commercial space. Four story mixed-use development. Representing a $20.6 million investment in the neighborhood.

Project Location: 26th St. and University Ave.

Nelson Construction & Development project

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: Summer 2021

More Information:

March 2, 2020April 26, 2017

This project is led by Nelson Construction & Development 

What's Next

Des Moines Public Schools Community Stadium

Project Description: Des Moines Public Schools newest home field, serving the needs of high school and middle school football and soccer. An on-campus home for the NCAA Division I, Drake Bulldogs men’s and women’s soccer programs.

Project Location: East of the Knapp Center, 24th St. and Forest Ave.

Project Status: In Development
Projected Start: Summer 2022

More Information:

November 13, 2019 

This project is a partnership, led by: Des Moines Public Schools


Merge Development

Project Description: 350 new residential units, 30,000-square-feet of commercial space. Four and five story mass timber construction. Restoring and reopening The Varsity Theater.

Project Location: Between 24th and 25th St., University Ave. and Carpenter Ave.

Project Status: In Development
Projected Start: Spring 2021

More Information:

June 24, 2019

This project is led by: Merge Urban Development Group

Dogtown Parking Garage

Project Description: Three story parking structure, TBD number of parking stalls. Lined on 24th St. with residential units.

Project Location: Between 24th and 25th St., Carpenter Ave. and Forest Ave.

Project Status: In Development
Projected Start: TBD

More Information:

June 24, 2019

Meredith Hall Revitilization

Project Description: Creating a student-focused, technology-rich learning environment, including a flexible digital media production studio and new collaboration spaces.

Project Location: Meredith Hall

Project Status: In Development
Projected Start: TBD

More Information:

November 7, 2019 

Completed Projects

Fall 2019

Restrooms Remodel Howard Hall

Howard Hall 

Two new gender inclusive restrooms were added to the main floor of Howard Hall.


Gregory and Suzie Glazer Burt Boys and Girls Club 25th St. & Forest Ave.

Second Boys and Girls Club on the campus of a private university. Partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa.

Read more


Olmsted Starbucks Olmsted Student Center

Fully-licensed Starbucks franchise and new study space that replaced the Olmsted Coffeeshop.


Roger Knapp Tennis Center is Net-Zero

Over the last year, every light in the tennis center and parking lot were changed to LED, which also included replacing the court lights with a more efficient fixture using 75% less energy and providing twice as much illumination ensuring the courts meet NCAA standards for competitions. In summer 2019, 346 solar panels were installed that produces 165,900 kWHours a year. With the reduction of electricity use from lighting upgrades, the project engineer determined that 346 solar panels were sufficient to produce enough electricity through renewable energy that would equal the amount used in the building for the entire year making it a “net zero” building.

Read more about Drake’s sustainability initiatives

View real-time information


Fall 2018

Collier-Scripps Hall and Ray Center

Four-level, 55,000 square foot academic building that houses STEM@DRAKE, including the School of Education, math and computer science classes, Instructional Material Center and new Robert D. and Billie Ray Center. Equipped with wireless display screens and windows lining the walls, the classrooms have a modern and cutting-edge feel. This building, along with the Science Connector Building, received a Two Green Globes rating.


Cowles Library study spaces Main floor of Cowles Library

New, modern furniture that makes studying and collaborating easier.


Quad Residence Halls HVAC update Carpenter, Crawford, Herriott and Stalnaker

Brand-new ventilation equipment installed in four first-year residence halls.


Robert Ray Promenade Formerly 27th Street

The Promenade adds more green space to the heart of campus and serves multiple purposes, such as a meeting location, studying spot, performance venue, picnic destination, and more.


Science Connector Building

The Science Connector Building has state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms and is the crucial link in an interconnected complex that includes Olin, Fitch, Morgan E. Cline, and Harvey-Ingham halls. The new building offers flexible classroom spaces that can be configured to accommodate a variety of teaching styles and student needs, as well as collaboration spaces with adjustable seating, large whiteboards, and technology. This building, along with Collier-Scripps Hall, received a Two Green Globes rating.

Always Something New

Hammock structures outside Goodwin-Kirk Hall and Herriott Hall

The Office of the President installed two hammock structures that provide a fun, new way to enjoy the outdoors.


Knapp Center floor and LED lighting

New wood floor, detailing and LED overhead lights installed to be used for Drake Men’s and Women’s Basketball.


Landscape furniture Olin Hall patio, Cowles, Olmsted

Donated Adirondack chairs that create impromptu study and meeting spaces outside.

Moveable umbrellas on picnic tables with USB plug-ins to make working outside easier.


Light pole banners

Spreading Bulldog pride across campus with fun memories and quotes.


Olmsted decals Olmsted Student Center exterior

Olmsted is often one of the first buildings newcomers will see or enter. These new decals show them what Drake is all about and make it pop from across campus.


The Road to 2020 Starts Here Meredith Hall south exterior

Iowa is the first state in the country to hold its caucuses. Drake is lucky to be in the epicenter of the nation’s politics and welcomes numerous candidates during every political cycle.


Sand volleyball court Goodwin-Kirk Courtyard

Regulation sand volleyball court that can be used for tournaments or just for fun. This project was a collaboration between the Student Senate, Residence Hall Association and the University.