Work has started on a project to renovate the Polk County Courthouse and consolidate the county's court services into three buildings in downtown Des Moines.
The work is funded by an $81 million bond referendum approved by voters in November.
Among the first noticeable developments will be renovation of the outside of the courthouse to preserve the stone exterior of the 1906 building. Survey work begins soon and construction is set for May through October next year.
The project also includes renovation of the former jail which will house criminal courts. Significant work also will be done at a building previously occupied by Wellmark near the courthouse. The county attorney's office will move into it once work is finished in late March.