Des Moines Area Community College

Center and
Trail Point
Aquatics &

Des Moines Area Community College
Ankeny, IA
115,300 SF
Completion date
January 2017

A welcoming new student center and recreational facility is the result of a major remodel and addition to the former Building 5 on the DMACC Ankeny campus. 

The facility is organized around a main circulation zone that runs east-west through the building, connecting parking to the central campus quad. Interior spaces include a new bookstore, food court, lounge space and game room, plus ample flexible meeting room space, along with a new black box theater.   

The two-story recreation portion of the addition features an upper-level weights and fitness area and running track. The first floor includes a double-height natatorium, gym and lobby. Other program spaces include racquetball courts, group exercise, a therapy pool suite and a family center with a child watch area.

The site design for the project retrofits an underused and dated pedestrian building entry, plaza and courtyard. The functional and beautiful plaza offers a place for students, faculty, staff and other community members to linger and move through on the way to other campus destinations. The courtyard also connects people to nature by preserving several mature Thornless Honey Locust trees surrounding the existing plaza. The area combines a unique blend of hardy and native plants, resilient materials and open spaces to create a campus destination and a living laboratory, with horticulture students caring for and studying plants without leaving the campus. 

Merit Award in Design (Built)
ASLA Iowa Chapter