OPN Architects and tvsdesign, along with the Polk County Board of Supervisors and Global Spectrum recently celebrated completion of a $42,750,000 renovation to the existing Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.
The updated, newly named Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center includes both renovations and new construction. With a museum‐quality exhibit, a 28,730 sf ballroom (the largest in the state), 34,000 sf of new meeting space and interactive technology, the renovation allows Des Moines to compete regionally for convention and conference business. Part of the Iowa Events Center complex that includes Wells Fargo Arena and Hy‐Vee Hall, the new convention center opens today, January 10, 2012.
The original Veterans Memorial Auditorium was dedicated in 1954 to honor the World War II veterans of Polk County, Iowa. The renovation continues that tradition with museum quality exhibits in the refreshed Memorial Hall honoring Iowans who served their country in times of war and peace. The original 7,200 seat arena was transformed into twenty seven flexible meeting rooms, able to be resized to fit a wide variety of occupants. Artwork by Des Moines Register’s Pulitzer Prize winning artist, Ding Darling, highlights the building’s east lobby. In the west lobby, seven new glass panels display events from the original building’s past including high school graduations, sporting events and a historic visit from Elvis Presley. The concourse linking the two lobbies features state‐of‐the‐art projection capabilities on a series of 30 feet tall by 16 feet wide, full height movable wall panels – a first of its kind installation for video display.