The Athletic Facilities Committee presented a report in April 2021 with their findings and recommendations on existing athletic facilities at DMPS secondary schools. Click here to download a copy.

The DMPS Athletic Facilities Committee (AFC) was an ad-hoc, time limited committee of the Des Moines Public Schools Board of Directors established to provide guidance and recommendations for investments in athletic facilities to address current and future needs. The AFC focus was on the athletic facility needs of each high school and the feeder middle schools to develop a five-year plan for strategic improvements to support high-quality facilities responsive to student participation needs, district-wide equity, efficient use of our limited district resources and stewardship of our public dollars. Supported by a professional facilitator and district staff, the AFC had access to the required information to advance to the Board a recommended prioritized list of investments in athletic facilities.


  • One principal, or principal-appointed member, from each high school (5)
  • One community member/parent/booster club representative from each high school (5)
  • Four community member representatives appointed by the school board* (4)
  • One student appointed by the principal from each high school (5)
  • One Taxpayer Association of Central Iowa representative, appointed by the Executive Director of the Association (1)
  • One City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department representative (1)

There will be a professional facilitator, who will serve in an ex-officio capacity. Two director appointed representatives will serve as AFC chair and vice chair, respectively


Research Phase (6-8 weeks)

  • Develop an understanding of the capacity and capabilities of the proposed new community stadium
  • Develop an understanding of the athletic and activities needs of the current comprehensive high schools to include a review current 5-year plan and athletics 05 May 2019 – Draft projects contained therein (subject to reprioritization and/or the introduction of new projects)
  • Develop an understanding of current and future plans of the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department and opportunities to leverage and maximize investments in shared facilities (Cownie Soccer plans, tennis plans, other)
  • Identify any other background information required to establish a baseline of information required to meet the committee’s charge

Recommendation Phase (6-8 weeks)

  • Utilizing the framework established during the research phase, develop recommendations that span a 5-year period and focused on athletic facilities that will serve the needs of each of the district’s 5 comprehensive high schools and feeder middle schools
  • Recommendations can include but are not limited to:
    • Reconfiguration of existing facilities to improve/reduce vertical infrastructure (spectator seating, press boxes, etc.)
    • Expansion of existing capacity for track & field opportunities o Improvements to practice areas for football, soccer, marching band, etc.
    • Improvements to practice areas/fields
    • Improvements to existing baseball and softball diamonds
    • Improvements to/expansion of tennis facilities
    • Viability of existing swimming pools/possibilities of sharing, partnering with the YMCA
    • Viability of creating shared programming between/among schools where shared programs do not currently exist


  • Board approves committee on May 5, 2020 in conjunction with approval of resolution to hold a public hearing on May 19, 2020
  • Committee meets as needed beginning in June with recommendation for additional, prioritized athletic facilities investments made to Board in October 2020


  • The nearly $15 million already committed to athletic facilities in the next 5-year facilities plan (some of which may be re-allocated to align with recommendations of the AFC)
  • Additional fundraising/donations/grants from each school’s booster clubs, alumni organizations, etc.
  • Additional SAVE revenue, above what has already been committed in the next 5- year plan (We expect the equivalent of a 10% reduction in SAVE revenue for FY 20 05 May 2019 – Draft and FY 21 due to the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. Once we are into the third quarter of FY 21, we will identify a figure that will allow for additional investments in athletics facilities as well as deliver on the expenditures already committed to the SAVE fund).