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Microsoft donates surplus funds to build an amphitheater and improve Great Western Trail

Post Date:06/14/2017 1:45 PM
Microsoft has agreed to donate more than $1.25 million in surplus funds from their Alluvion Data Center to several charitable projects and entities in West Des Moines, including the West Des Moines Community Enrichment Foundation. A majority of the donated funds will pay for maintenance and improvements to the Great Western Trail and partially fund construction of a City amphitheater.

Surplus funds from Microsoft became available because of successful cost-containment efforts during the construction of Alluvion, the second of three data centers Microsoft has underway in West Des Moines.
City Manager Tom Hadden said approximately $250,000 of the donated funds will be used to support maintenance activities and improvements to the Great Western Trail in Warren County.

An additional $868,000 will be used as a donation to help build an amphitheater within the WDM Civic Campus on the undeveloped area northeast of City Hall. Early multi-phase plans show the existing pond as the backdrop for the stage, which includes a lawn seating area for approximately 600 people. The concept plan also includes a concession plaza for food vendors and temporary mobile restroom facilities.

Hadden said West Des Moines will work to secure an additional $1.5 million to fund the total construction costs for the amphitheater.

“We view these projects as game changers that draw people to experience nature on our trails and have fun on our City campus,” Hadden said. “We’re grateful Microsoft is making such a big commitment to West Des Moines and funding projects that add to our quality of life.”

Kristi Knous, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, said the Foundation is proud to play a part in improving the quality of life in West Des Moines.

“As we seek to connect donors with causes they care about and provide leadership on important community issues and projects, partnerships such as this make our vision of making our metro better together come to life,” she said. “Thank you to Microsoft, the City of West Des Moines and the West Des Moines Community Enrichment Foundation for coming together to make this investment in the community possible.”

West Des Moines has been a data center location for Microsoft since 2008 when the Redmond, Washington software giant began planning for Project Mountain, its first data center in Iowa. The second data center, Project Alluvion, was announced in April 2014, and the third center, Project Osmium, was announced in July 2016.

West Des Moines is a rapidly developing community located in Polk, Dallas, Madison and Warren counties. The population of West Des Moines is 64,113 people, the eighth largest city in Iowa. The City of West Des Moines offers excellent employment opportunities; a diversity of housing; quality school districts; and a variety of entertainment options, such as dining, shopping, recreation, parks, trails and cultural activities.

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines improves quality of life for all by promoting charitable giving, connecting donors with causes they care about and providing leadership on important community issues…we’re simply better together. The Community Foundation manages assets in excess of $460 million, administers over 1,700 charitable funds and distributed over $29 million in grants in 2016. Visit

Microsoft was founded in 1975. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Visit:
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