December 2020 Design and Construction Update (Olmsted Progress Update Video!)

District Administration is working closely with our design team (DLR Group) and contractors (Stahl for Olmsted Elementary School; Stahl for Elementary School #2; Two Rivers Group for UHS HVAC). Below you’ll find an updated summary of actions that have been taking place for multiple construction projects.


UHS Fitness Center

  • We look forward to hosting a ‘grand opening event’ when it is safe to do so!

New Olmsted Elementary

  • Design/photos: Olmsted Elementary School
  • Thank you to Principal Elyse Brimeyer, Dean of Students Kara Paulson, and Stahl Field Superintendent Mike Farnsworth for sharing this progress update for the new Olmsted Elementary School. Many thanks and a big shout out to Community Education Coordinator, Josh Jacobs, for the development of this fantastic progress update video! #OlmstedRising #elevatingU

  • Included below is time lapse footage of the new Olmsted Elementary school from  10.26.20 – 11.30.20.

  • Olmsted Elementary is scheduled to open fall 2021 (for the 2021-22 school year).
  • Topsoil has been stripped, and stockpiled, and building rough grade
  • Due to high groundwater and soil moisture content, a “Rammed Aggregate Pier” system is being used to stabilize the soil and foundation of the new structure. This requires 770 holes to be bored around the building perimeter, and load bearing interior walls, that are then filled with aggregate to form a solid, durable pier that can then be incorporated into the foundation system. Pier completed. 
  • Foundations poured.
  • The fabricated steel and precast concrete panels are fabricated, and have been installed.
  • Steel erection is completed at buildings B, C, D. Currently, the full steel “skeleton” has been erected. Bar joist and floor decking are installed. Roof decking is installed.
  • Area D roof is on.
  • Area D second floor topping has been poured.
  • Area D framing and sheathing is completed. Spray on waterproofing is completed.
  • Blockwork is completed at the firewall between buildings C and D, as well as area A and B.
  • Blockwork for the safe room is completed  The roof has been installed in areas A and B.
  • Underground utilities are installed
  • All storm sewer main lines are installed
  • Gym wall construction is completed.
  • Additional walls have been built up in all areas.
  • Area A steel has been erected.
  • A portion of the North parking lot has been poured. The West parking lot has been Poured.
  • Brick is installed at area D.
  • Windows have been installed in area D
  • Windows are installed in area A
  • Stairways on the West Elevation are being enclosed
  • Steel erection over the offices, commons, Nutrition Services, Gym and Mechanical areas completed; roof decking will follow.
  • Structural Framing for the learning stairs is in place.
  • Gas service to the building is completed. Temporary heat is now available, so interior finish work can resume. Painting in area D will be the starting point.
  • Bus Lot finish grading is completed.
  • Underground plumbing work has been started for area B and the Nutrition Services Kitchen.
  • Water Service is installed.

Elementary School #2 (Valerius site)

  • The new elementary school will be constructed on the current Valerius site and is anticipated to be a 2-story, 4-section building (i.e. each grade level will have 4 classrooms).
  • View initial sketches here. (This is not the final design so the actual building could look different than this depiction.)
  • Design and construction elements will align with those from the new Olmsted Elementary building, while taking into consideration the constraints and needs of this specific site.
  • During the October 12, 2020 School Board Meeting, the School Board voted in favor of an earlier construction start date for our second new elementary school (on the Valerius site) which means construction will begin summer (2021) with completion fall 2023.
  • As all students and staff currently at Jensen Elementary will be moving to the new Olmsted Elementary building fall 2021, we will honor and retire the existing Jensen Elementary building with a celebration and farewell ceremony. We will also honor the existing Valerius Elementary building with a celebration and farewell ceremony. The Jensen building will then be able to support all Valerius students and staff for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. We will provide bussing for Valerius students attending school in the former Jensen Elementary building space.
  • Throughout the year our District Facilities Leadership Team will be meeting to proactively plan and prepare for a successful transition for all students and staff. We will share more information as details and logistics are confirmed
  • Preliminary work has begun at the future site of ES#2.
  • A Traffic Study has been completed, as well as Fire Hydrant Pressure Testing for the new school. 
  • An updated property survey has been completed.


UHS and Webster Elementary Main Entry Renovations; Webster Computer Lab Renovation

An important part of providing a safe and secure environment for all students, staff, and patrons of the Urbandale CSD is consistently evaluating facilities to maintain a balance of a welcoming and secure campus. Following further evaluation, door entry/lobby modifications are being planned at the Urbandale High School Main Entry and the Webster Elementary Main Entry in order to provide immediate and direct access to the Main Office upon arrival at each school building. In addition, we will be removing the tiered floor in the Webster Elementary computer lab in order to make the floor flat so the space can be better utilized. 

  • Urbandale CSD School Board provided approval of the Design Development
  • Urbandale CSD School Board provided approval of Rochon Corporation as our construction partners for these projects.
  • Webster computer lab remodel has been completed.
  • The stairway at the HS entry has been installed. 
  • Doors have been installed at the HS
  • Webster entry work is completed. Some door hardware is currently temporary. 
  • Wiring for electronic entry system is complete
  • The entry is functional and in use.
  • The area under the stairs has been completed, enclosing the HS Time Capsule

UHS HVAC Renovations

Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Comfort are key to enhancing the learning and working environment of all Urbandale CSD facilities. Over time, building system components age and need more than regular maintenance attention to maintain a healthy and comfortable environment. The oldest remaining portion of the original high school, the north gymnasium area, has HVAC systems that have exceeded their intended life span. Over the course of the 2019-20 school year and the following summer, the District is investing in HVAC upgrades to replace aged equipment, as well as add cooling to these spaces.

  • Urbandale CSD School Board provided approval of the Design Development
  • Part 1: South Gym
    • All existing duct work and mechanical units have been removed and new work on the gym floor level has been completed
    • We are back in the gym space at this time
  • Part 2: Weight Room
    • All existing duct work has been removed and the new duct is installed
  • Part 3: Locker Rooms, Training Room, Auxiliary Spaces
    • The installation of new duct work is completed in the South gym hallway Electrical work and drop ceiling work is completed
    • Sprinkler extensions are completed
    • The locker rooms and the training room are operational
  • Part 4: Balance of Work
    • Welding completed in the Wrestling Room and Fitness Room
    • All four of the units for the Gyms are installed on the roof. 
    • Additional work continues 
    • The balance of work to complete the project to include the North Gym and surrounding area and the Wrestling Room is complete. Ductwork and piping to individual offices and locker rooms is complete
    • Electrical service for the fitness center and part of the HVAC renovations has been completed.
    • Gas service has been installed, and lines to the rooftop units have been installed.
    • South Gym is being cooled by new rooftop units. 
    • All old air handling equipment has been demolished
    • Boilers in the gym are have been demolished and old piping demo is complete
    • New Aerco boilers are installed, and piping to them is complete.
    • New Breaker boxes have been installed in the North Gym Boiler Room.
    • Controls programming has begun.
    • New piping is being flushed.
    • System is filled with glycol solution.
    • Boilers are Running, and controls are functional
    • Commissioning of the system will follow.
    • Project is 97% complete, and Substantial Completion has been certified on December 3.
    • Application for the Architects to do a preliminary final inspection has been made. This inspection will create the final “punch List.” 
    • Final Acceptance is expected to be 60 days or less.
    • Building Engineer note: While difficult to determine, definitively, without full occupancy, the new systems seem to be performing as designed, and should have a marked improvement on the comfort of our student athletes, students, staff and patrons to our indoor sporting events.