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Des Moines Christian School

January 21, 2021 jill Blog


Des Moines Christian School’s new, two-story Center for Excellence in Urbandale, Iowa, added more early education (preschool) and K-12 classrooms; band, choir and practice rooms; an art room; and three STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) rooms.

At its core is a 10,000-square-foot multipurpose auditorium/gymnasium with a concessions area.

Helping to Optimize Learning Environments

Educational institutions have special needs. For instance, heating and cooling all areas may not be needed year-round, and lighting and noise impact learning.

Baker Group paid special attention to these needs throughout the design-build process for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems at Des Moines Christian School.


A 75-ton rooftop Variable Air Volume (VAV) unit heats and cools areas occupied only during the school year. A second, 30-ton rooftop unit supports the year-round early education area.

To reduce HVAC-related noise, the systems were designed with a 6-inch slab beneath the rooftop units, sound attenuators in supply and return trunk lines, an internal liner applied inside the ductwork, and a drywall containment around ductwork.

Electrical & Lighting

Baker Group participated in a collaborative design approach utilizing input from both the general contractor and the DMCS construction committee to ensure the school addition included both the wants and the needs of the end users while maintaining the established budget.

One interesting challenge was the lighting design in the Performance Hall, which doubles as a gymnasium.

The lighting design needed to provide aesthetic look and controllability required for a performance hall, while accommodating lighting levels and light fixture durability required for gymnasium.


In addition to typical restrooms, classroom sinks and drinking bubblers, Baker Group worked with the Wastewater Reclamation Authority to size a grease interceptor (which diverts fats, oils and grease from the sewer system) that not only accommodates the concession area in the new addition, but is also sized to handle future renovations to the existing kitchen. This enables the school to meet city requirements without adding another bulky grease interceptor to its landscaping.

Baker Group is a highly experienced contractor with a vast range of electrical solutions for any size project. Whether it’s commercial, retail, or industrial, Baker Group offers high-quality design, construction, installation, and service for all types of electrical installations,