Moline Coal Valley School District Franklin Elementary
In September of 2017 tragedy struck at Moline-Coal Valley School District's Franklin Elementary School. An overnight electrical fire rendered the building inhabitable forcing the district to scramble to find another facility for the school to be temporary located in while they picked up the pieces. Turning tragedy into opportunity, the bold decision was made to not just put the school back together as it was, but to improve the 1950's era building by creating flexible, collaborative learning environments and also address needed security and accessibility upgrades.
The Shive-Hattery team worked quickly to come alongside the schools' design committee and propose solutions to fulfill the new vision for the building. A vision where students would have an environment where they are encouraged to learn and grow in ways that best fit their unique learning style.
The heart of the building includes the open Media Center which encourages students to engage books in a vibrant and welcoming way. Teachers also now have the ability to co-teach or have group activities by utilizing the operable glass walls between sets of classrooms that share the same grade level. Classroom entrances have small collaboration spaces that give students the option to study, write or read independently or in pairs, passively supervised by the teacher.
The security and safety of the students and community is a top priority for the District. The lobby and office area was reworked to include a secure vestibule and accessible entry. The renovations also allowed for energy efficient features to be added like LED lighting and a new HVAC system.
To have the school operational the following school year after the fire, Shive-Hattery completed design and documentation quickly and followed through a tight construction schedule. To build excitement and understanding of the renovations that were being done, teachers and students were given the opportunity to tour the space through virtual reality. Students cheered and squealed with joy as they were able to step into their new school and experience the different spaces before construction had even begun.
As the ribbon was cut and the school unveiled in August 2018, the community beamed at the reinvented Franklin Elementary. It is now a place that is not only safe and ADA compliant, but also collaborative, adaptable and creative.