Urbandale CSD Celebrates Construction Of New Elementary School With Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Urbandale Community School District (Urbandale CSD) celebrated the start of construction for the first of two new elementary schools with a ceremonial groundbreaking event on September 30, 2019. The new $28 million school, located at 7110 Prairie Avenue, will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria, gymnasium, administration area, severe weather shelter, and auxiliary spaces. The two-story, 118,000-square-foot elementary school is designed to support 650 students in grades Pre-K-5 with capabilities for expansion. The District selected DLR Group as their architectural firm and Stahl as their Construction Manager.

“We are thrilled to partner with DLR Group and Stahl for the design and construction of our first new elementary school that will open fall 2021,” said Urbandale CSD Superintendent Steve Bass. “Both firms bring a level of expertise that is second-to-none and a keen focus on creating exceptional learning environments designed to engage all learners now and in the future.”

DLR Group’s design includes a makerspace for project-based and hands-on learning, small group rooms that are shared between classrooms and can be transformed in the moment, and a two-story commons that is flanked by two learning stairs to unite all grade levels. Natural daylight and views provide a direct physical connection from the makerspaces, art room, and commons to an outdoor learning environment that increases connections to the exterior of the school. The facility is solar-ready, with the roof designed to have photovoltaic panels added in the future to increase energy efficiency.

“We created classroom neighborhoods to break down the school into a manageable scale for these young students,” said DLR Group Principal Andrew Van Leeuwen, AIA. “Each neighborhood is organized around an open, flexible discovery area that allows learning to spill out from the classroom to a larger gathering space for cross-curriculum team building.”

“We are excited to be partnering with DLR Group and the Urbandale Community School District,” said Stahl Senior Project Manager Bill Harger. “We look forward to bringing this innovative building to life.” 

Upon completion of the first new elementary school for the 2021–22 school year, Stahl will begin the demolition and construction of a second new elementary school at the existing Valerius Elementary School site in the summer of 2023. Following a similar two-year construction schedule, the anticipated completion date of the second elementary school is May 2025 in time for the 2025–2026 school year. DLR Group is designing the two new schools, and Stahl is serving as construction manager for both projects.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Monday, September 30, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. We had a wonderful morning celebrating the start of construction for our first new elementary school. Huge thank you to our design (DLR Group) and construction (Stahl) partners! Here are a few photos from the event.