WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — West Des Moines is a metro city with a lot to offer with tons of restaurants and shopping. It seems to have it all, except for an outdoor entertainment space — until now.
The new $2.4 million Jamie Hurd Amphitheater will be located right next to the West Des Moines city hall and the public library and is named in honor of a Drake graduate.
“You know the whole family used to walk over there when she was in rehab with cancer,” Richard Hurd, Jamie’s father, and local real estate investor said.
Hurd has many fond memories at the city’s civic campus with his daughter.
Jamie died in 2009 after battling cancer and a lung aneurysm. Now, her family is keeping her memory alive through music.
“She was very big into arts and music, played guitar and that type of thing, so she would very much appreciate this particular type of civic engagement,” Hurd said.
Hurd is giving an $850,000 in-kind donation of labor and materials to help construct the amphitheater.
“It’s really on a smaller more intimate scale,” Sally Ortgies, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of West Des Moines said. “[It’s] really meant to attract hundreds of people instead of thousands of people.”
The amphitheater will be community-based, working to bring residents of West Des Moines, like the Hurds, together through music and other local events.
“My sons both have very young children so I can certainly see them having school, church programs on that amphitheater. That would be great if it happens,” Hurd said.
City manager Tom Hadden said the amphitheater project is a key part of the city’s Five Waters Project. They plan to break ground in September and have it all ready to go one year from now.
Microsoft also is helping, donating over $800,000 to the construction. The remaining 30 percent of the project’s costs will be covered by the city.