11.06.13

Voters approve Polk County courthouse expansion

Polk County voters approved the $81M bond referendum to renovate the existing courthouse and expand the courts services to the former county jail and former Wellmark building. The referendum was approved by 67 percent of voters on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. This success comes after several previous failed bond referendum rejected by voters in 2008.

In 2010, OPN Architects was awarded the Fifth Judicial District Master Plan and Old Main Jail Adaptive Reuse Project for Polk County in 2010. OPN worked with the County to determine the viability of pursuing renovations to the Old Main Jail facility and the existing Courthouse. Crucial success factors for the project were the phases of planning, demolition, systems design, schedule and cost. This project has been staged through three phases to include programming, an adaptive reuse study, a master plan and the actual demolition and renovation of the building.

OPN was able to reduce the project’s budget from $127M to $81M, while focusing on security issues and providing much needed office space for judges and the administrative staff of the Courts.

For more information, read the Des Moines Register’s article about the approved bond referendum.