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Renderings released of proposed north-side rec center


Architectural renderings of a proposed North Side Community Recreation Center at Ninth Street and College Avenue were unveiled Thursday at a community meeting. The rendering above is of the large gymnasium and elevated track. More renderings can be found in a gallery on the Business Record’s Facebook page. Architectural rendering by MA Architecture

The city of Des Moines on Thursday unveiled architectural renderings of a proposed recreational center that would be constructed at Ninth Street and College Avenue.

The center would be built on the site of the John R. Grubb Community YMCA, which would be demolished, city officials said.

Residents of Des Moines’ north side and community groups began meeting in October to discuss priorities for the proposed recreation center. On Thursday, conceptual plans were revealed.

The proposed 32,500-square-foot, two-story center would include an NBA-sized basketball court, elevated track, fitness space and community rooms. An existing indoor swimming pool would be renovated. Green space around the outside of the building would include two full-sized basketball courts, an open-air shelter, handball courts, a playground and ball fields.

Construction of the proposed center is estimated to cost more than $18.6 million. The city of Des Moines has allocated up to $12 million from the local options sales service tax to be used to pay for construction. Additional money could be added to the project from other sources including a fundraising campaign.

The design and construction phase of the proposed project is estimated to take more than two years. The center would open in late 2025 or early 2026, according to a city document.

The Grubb YMCA, which opened on the site in 1994, is located in a building that once was part of Dowling High School. The building, constructed in 1940, included the school’s gymnasium. Dowling opened a new high school campus in West Des Moines in 1972.

Kingsway Ministries operated out of the building between 1975 and 1982, according to a historical timeline of the property. The city of Des Moines bought the property in 1982 and the Model City Community Center was located in the building. Between 1992 and 1994 the building was renovated and the swimming pool added. Local philanthropists, including John Grubb, donated money for the improvements.

Related content: View more renderings of the proposed recreation center.

Below: The image shows the northwest corner of Ninth Street and College Avenue as it looks today. The rec center is proposed to be built on the corner. Image provided by city of Des Moines

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