Des Moines University announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase property in West Des Moines as part of its effort to move the campus from Grand Avenue in Des Moines and accommodate necessary growth and innovation. 

The 90-acre parcel it plans to buy is on the north side of West Grand Avenue, between South Jordan Creek Parkway and South 88th Street. It is bounded on the north by Booneville Road. The land is being sold by W&G McKinney Farms LC.

With the land purchase, which is expected to close by early May after a 60-day due diligence period, the osteopathic medical college will more than triple its campus space from its present 24 acres. The university is not disclosing the purchase price of the property. 

“As we enter a campus master planning process, DMU is resetting its vision to remain a national, premier medicine and health sciences university serving the community and the world,” said Angela Walker Franklin, president and CEO. “During this exploration, we will advance the future of health care education and clinical services that will meet the needs of the region.” 

The osteopathic medical college has occupied its current location at 3200 Grand Ave. since moving from Sixth Avenue in 1972.  

“The DMU Board of Trustees unanimously endorses President Franklin’s leadership with the campus relocation and master planning process,” Dr. Michael Witte, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement. “We are setting the stage for strategic growth of the University, and embracing the powerful, evolutionary trends in education and health care delivery. The current site on Grand Avenue simply cannot accommodate the plans we have for expansion of our curriculum, facilities and clinical services.” 

In December, DMU launched the public phase of its Purple & Proud capital campaign, which aims to raise at least $25 million. The campaign has reached about 75 percent of that goal, said Mark Danes, DMU’s chief strategic communications officer. The campaign is expected to close at the end of 2020. 

Danes said the university has not yet put together any construction plans for the property, but those will be forthcoming once the land purchase has been completed. 

The campus will be located near the proposed 60-acre MidAmerican Co. RecPlex, a $30 million facility with two ice hockey rinks with room for up to four sheets of ice, three indoor soccer fields, three indoor basketball courts, availability for six volleyball courts, five outdoor soccer fields, locker rooms and amenities, 3,000 square feet of meeting space, 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, and a 3,000-seat main arena with stage. The city of West Des Moines paid $2.5 million on Dec. 6 to W&G McKinney Farms LC for that property. It also will be neighbors with Microsoft Corp.’s Project Mountain data center at South 88th and Booneville Road.