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Des Moines moves public works, others to new city facility


Several city of Des Moines departments, including public works, fleet services and the radio shop, have moved into a new facility at 1700 Maury St.

It is the first time in several decades that the departments have been under the same roof, according to a news release.

“We’re bringing seven different work groups that were housed in seven different facilities into the same building,” Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said in a prepared statement. “We’ve already seen the benefits in efficiency, communication and teamwork by having everyone in this facility.”

Work on the $45 million project began in fall 2020. The 268,000-square-foot facility was designed to be energy efficient and is 20% above energy efficiency requirements for new construction. Features include a 5,000-gallon rainwater collection tank and a large rooftop solar array that is expected to supply 25% of the energy used by the building.

One of the major improvements provided by the new Municipal Service Center facility is the increased capacity for indoor parking of public works vehicles. Previously, snow removal equipment was parked outside, which led to increased wear and tear on the equipment as well as longer lead times to get the equipment up and running.

“When it’s minus 10 degrees outside, our equipment would be minus 10 degrees,” Gano said. “That meant not only time to warm up the cab, but we also had to use picks to break up the salt when it froze in the back of the trucks.

“Now, with indoor parking, our first wave of snow removal trucks can hit the roads within minutes of activation, meaning we can be quicker to maintain Des Moines’ roads.”

The building has room to park 80 public works vehicles inside and also provides a modernized workspace with 31 working stalls, a weld shop, and lifts and cranes for fleet services that manage service for hundreds of city vehicles. The facility also provides modernized space for Des Moines’ two-way communication radio shop.

The city’s public works, fleet services and other departments had been located in several buildings north of East Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway between Southeast Second and Southeast Fifth streets. That area is part of the Market District, which is being redeveloped.

The city recently 
sold a 2.6-acre parcel on which its maintenance facility had been located to a group leading efforts to redevelop the area. The group plans on razing the building next week. The city plans to tear down the remaining city-owned buildings and clean the sites in 2023, a city official has said.

To watch a video produced by the city of Des Moines about the new facility, click here.

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