After proposing a new stadium for Des Moines Public Schools and Drake University, a frequent question that has been asked is: why not simply improve the current high school stadiums?

It’s a fair question. After all, four DMPS high schools already have stadiums on campus.

The answer: $60 million.

To determine the cost to provide each DMPS high school with a stadium comparable to the new one being proposed, an independent analysis was done by a local architectural firm. Their review looks at the cost of upgrading the current stadiums at Hoover, Lincoln and North, as well as building a new stadium for Roosevelt, which currently does not have a stadium of its own. (NOTE: East was not included in the review as they have an agreement with Grand View University, which has partially funded several improvements to their stadium.)

The needs, and costs, vary from school to school. For example, Roosevelt doesn’t currently have a stadium, and so would be starting from scratch, including the need to purchase land. North has locker rooms on site, while Hoover and Lincoln do not. None of the three existing stadiums have synthetic turf, which is the norm at most high school stadiums, and none of them are configured for a regulation soccer pitch. Each of the existing stadiums has numerous code and ADA requirements that are currently unmet.

The total cost to provide Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt with a stadium that has comparable features to the community stadium being proposed at Drake would total more than $60.1 million. Each year work is delayed will lead to a cost increase of about 4%.

The cost estimate for each school is as follows: 

  • HOOVER: $14.1 million
  • LINCOLN: $16.5 million
  • NORTH: $9.0 million
  • ROOSEVELT: $20.5 million