In November of 2012, DMACC, Southridge owners Macerich, Warren County Schools, Polk County and the City of Des Moines shared plans to create the new DMACC Center for Career and Professional Development.
Macerich, owners of Southridge, formally turned over ownership of the former JC Penney store to DMACC officials in December 2012 in order for DMACC to turn the space into a state-of-the-art educational center. Scott McMurray, Macerich Project Manager for Southridge, said that adding DMACC to the center was a natural fit.
“It's a huge success,” said Rick Carpenter, Executive Director of the DMACC Success Center and who also oversees college curriculum offered to high school students at Southridge. “We have many more students than we initially anticipated. We planned for 175 high school students, we've enrolled 220. We had to hire two full-time health sciences faculty because we have more than 80 students signed up in our Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Our Criminal Justice Program is also full with 60 high school students. We're thrilled with these numbers,” said Carpenter. The Automotive, Welding and Auto Collision Programs are at full capacity both morning and afternoon. The facility serves a huge need for Warren County and the Southside of Polk County,” said Carpenter
The Center's educational components include:
- DMACC Business Resources (DBR)
- DMACC Continuing Education
- Warren County Career Academy
- DMACC Success Center
- HiSet and ELL classes
The DMACC Center was finished in early August 2013 before classes started. The facility serves credit and non-credit students, including over 200 Warren County high school students who receive career and technical training.
The Southridge center initially offered nine career and technical programs including:
- Automotive Technology and Auto Collision
- Building Trades
- Criminal Justice
- Health Occupations
- Teacher Academy
- Career Work Experience
- Visual Communications
The new DMACC Center at Southridge provides 65,000-square-feet of learning and administrative space. Southridge programs allow students to enter the workforce or continue their education at DMACC or at another college or university.
Dr. Michael Teigland, superintendent of the Indianola Community School District, was an active proponent of DMACC's new Southridge location. The Southridge center gives Warren County high school students an opportunity to participate in these classes.
Shive Hattery Architecture and Engineering, based in Cedar Rapids, designed the space. Hansen Company, based in Johnston was the general contractor.
Southridge is situated at the crossroads of Army Post Road and SE 14th Street in Des Moines
Dr. Hollie Lander took over leadership duties at the center in June 2015. She is the Executive Director and oversees the Career Academy, District-wide ELL and HiSET programs, all credit programs in the building, the DMACC Success Center, as well as educational programs in both correctional facilities DMACC serves (Newton Correctional Facility and Iowa Correctional Institution for Women).