Six projects in the Capital City, including a new sports arena, have cleared all but one hurdle to secure 70-million dollars in state “Vision Iowa” money.After months of sometimes tense negotiations with Des Moines-area officials, the state’s “Vision Iowa” board has approved a complicated contract awarding the money for construction of the Iowa Events Center, a Hall of Pride and a new Science Center. But three issues remain before the deal’s complete: developers must bury some high-voltage power lines, resolve parking issues and finalize a land swap for the new Science Center. Polk County manager Teree Caldwell-Johnson says the deal has taken a year to put together. She says they’re excited to get the contract approved and will spend the next 45 days working out the final details.Jack Lashier of the Iowa High School Athletic Association says the “Vision Iowa” board pushed the Hall of Pride into the new Events Center. He says he originally didn’t like it when the board told him to move the project from the IHSAA’s headquarters in Boone, but now thinks it’s the best place for the hall to be.The Hall of Pride will showcase the top athletes and student achievements of Iowa high schools. Fifty million dollars of the state grant will be used for the Iowa Events Center; 15-million goes to the new Science Center of Iowa; and five million goes to the Hall of Pride. Polk County, in return, pledges financial support for three other downtown Des Moines projects, including a new library.
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