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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

Drake Marquee Sign

Project Description: A new marquee sign at the intersection of 27th and Forest Avenue is nearing completion. The structural steel, concrete, masonry, and electrical rough-ins are finished with the final installation and energizing board to be complete December 2020.

Project Location: 27th St. and Forest Ave.

The new outdoor marquee being constructed outside of the Knapp Center on the corner of 27th St. and Forest Ave.

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: December 2020

More Information:

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:

Update as of 12/4/2020: 

The new home of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement is nearing completion. With the majority of interior and exterior finishes and landscaping now complete, Drake FFE (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) installation activities continue in preparations for staff and researchers to move-in to the building which will serve as a model of universal design.

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

Sprout Garden

Project Description: The Sprout Garden is now relocated from its previous Forest Avenue location to the grassy area west of campus on 30th Street, just south of Drake West Village. With much of the work complete, remaining site grading and utility installations will resume in Spring 2021. The new space will allow the garden to expand its growing capacity and educational opportunities through the addition of native plants, trees, and permaculture.

Project Location: 30th St.

The design plans for the relocation of the Sprout Garden.

Project Status: In Progress
Projected Completion Date: Spring 2021

More Information:

Sprout: The Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden

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 

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 

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 Progress
Projected Completion Date: Summer 2022

More Information:

Update as of 12/4/2020: 

The new Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) and Drake University soccer stadium along Forest Avenue on the Drake campus is underway. Phase 1 work includes site clearing and grading and new utility services installations along Clark Avenue.

Phase 2 which includes the building structures and remainder of the project scope is slated to begin in spring 2021. The new stadium will serve as the venue for DMPS high school and middle school football and soccer, as well as provide an on-campus home field for the Bulldogs soccer teams, in addition to other school and community athletic uses.

November 13, 2019 

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



What's Next

Merge Development

Project Description: New residential units, commercial space, and office space. Four and five story construction. Des Moines Film Society restoring and reopening The Varsity Theater.

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

Project Status: In Development
Projected Start: Fall 2021

More Information:

June 24, 2019

This project is led by: Merge Urban Development Group

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 2020

Hubbell Dining Hall 


Remodel of Hubbell Dining hall kitchen and Quad Creek spaces, refreshing of the kitchen space, serving stations, and dining experience. 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 Plaza University Avenue in front of Old Main

Bulldog Plaza

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. 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). 


University Avenue Streetscape Improvements University Avenue from 25th Street to 31st Street. 

University Ave. Streetscape Concept

Initiated by the City of Des Moines sewer separation project and implementing the 2007 conceptual plan (revised), University Avenue streetscape updates improve pedestrian safety, public transit nodes, and to integrate the campus, neighborhood and Dogtown business district.

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.

Important Admission Dates

Now - Apply to Drake

Now - Register for an on-campus summer visit

August 1Application for Fall & Spring 2022 opens!

August 6Bulldog Days of Summer (On-Campus Program)

August 9Bulldog Days of Summer (On-Campus Program)

August 12 - Virtual Bulldog Day of Summer program