Federal agency releases details about new federal courthouse

The current federal courthouse facility in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Days after Des Moines community leaders urged federal officials to reconsider plans for a $136.6 million federal courthouse along the downtown riverfront, an agency has released more details about the building.

The U.S. General Services Administration on Thursday released a design concept for the new courthouse planned for a block in the heart of downtown, across the Des Moines River from City Hall. The agency says more than $10 million has been spent on the project and construction is scheduled to begin in the fall.

City officials had hoped federal officials would choose another spot, about a half-mile away in an area called the Market District that is changing from warehouse and industrial use to apartments and shops.

On Tuesday, a former City Council member and business leaders held a news conference to urge federal officials to reconsidering building the new courthouse at all, saying the current structure build in 1929 is underutilized.

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