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The Willkie House gym has been the heart of our facility for 72 years. It has hosted thousands of community events and allowed countless young people to learn, play, explore and discover through games, gatherings, and physical activities -- and it shows! Our gym is in need of a new floor, new windows, wall mats, basketball hoops and more.

Donate Today!

You can help us reach our goal and continue to provide a vital, vibrant space for youth programming for many more years to come. Click here or on the image below to make a contribution through GIVEdsm.

Give DSM - Powered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Please see below for more information about the renovation and what we envision for the future of the Willkie House's building.

What Will The Gym Renovation Look Like?

Scroll through to take a sneak peek at our plans ... 

Gym renderings courtesy of Studio MELEE in Des Moines.

More About Our Capital Campaign

From its origin as an extension of the War Recreation Board for Black Officers at Fort Des Moines, to providing year-round programming for youth from low-income families today, the  Willkie House has been serving the Des Moines community for over 100 years.


This will be our first large-scale improvement project since the 1983 building expansion.

Our plan is to undergo exciting new renovations as part of our capital campaign to enhance the Willkie House facilities and better serve our community. Phase I of the project will focus on the gym; Phase II will have a wider scope throughout the building, updating or replacing key infrastructure.

The capital campaign will lay the foundation for the future of the Willkie House. We plan to make structural improvements to reinforce the integrity of the building and breathe new life into our spaces and facilities.


The project aims to provide a modernized space that supports our mission of developing character and esteem in young people through the promotion of academics, social skill building, health and recreation. It will allow us to continue serving Des Moines youth for years to come.

Please consider making a donation toward the next phase of our future. Every contribution helps us reach our goal of continuing the Willkie House's century of service!

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