400 East Court Avenue | Suite 140 | Des Moines, IA 50309

Armstrong Hall

  • Project
    • 20,800 Sq. Ft. (Phase I Addition)
    • 38,500 Sq. Ft. (Phase II Renovation)
  • Cost

    $9.3 million construction cost


    This unique project was conducted in two phases; the first being a new addition to the west side of the existing building and the second being renovation of the existing building. The new addition features an auditorium, balcony seating and a stage with a 100' tall copper cladded fly loft enabling large props to be raised and lowered during performances. The structure is supported on deep foundations (auger-cast piles) and is constructed with a complex system of reinforced concrete bearing/retaining walls since the building was recessed into the hillside. The stage was built using a pan joist system and the balcony seating was designed as a concrete inverted T-beam. Roof construction utilized steel beams supporting corrugated metal deck and the fly loft roof beams were designed to accommodate a very elaborate cabling system needed for stage prop logistics.

The renovation phase presented many structural challenges; from underpinning existing footings to saw cutting existing concrete floor slabs in order to install a new elevator shaft, providing access to all three levels of the existing building. A similar procedure was used to install a new multi-landing stair shaft at the southeast corner of the structure. A new storage loft was designed with a removable guardrail so a hand-controlled hoist could easily place items on it. This complicated project was well thought out by the design team and was constructed with very few field modifications.