Moline District Unveils Design for New Hamilton School - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline District Unveils Design for New Hamilton School

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The Moline School District took another step forward in its multi-million dollar operational plan Monday night. At a special school board meeting, the designs for the new Hamilton Elementary School were revealed to the public for the first time.

These designs involve some big changes for the Hamilton building.

Hamilton Elementary School is set to be renovated and expanded. When the project is finished, the Hamilton will have triple the capacity of the current facility.

And that's just one of the major changes included in the new designs, which were shown to the public for the first time on Monday.

The idea behind the plans is to build for the future. The renovations and new addition are all about creating a 21st century learning space.

"It's going to allow teachers to do their jobs better. It's going allow students to participate in types of learning activities that they need to be prepared for the types of jobs that are going to be out there when they graduate," Dr. Dave Moyer, Superintendent for the Moline School District, explained.

Among other things, the new Hamilton School will feature more space for arts and English learning programs, a discovery lab, centralized media center, and classroom spaces that encourage collaboration and collective learning in common areas.

It's all about creating flexible spaces for multiple types of instruction, while maximizing the use of the building that's already there.

"This is really almost a completely new building," Dr. Moyer said.

Helping to present the designs during the special meeting in the John Deere Middle School cafeteria were some of the more than 40 members of the design committee, which included parents, teachers, administrators, and design professionals.

They've been working to come up with the plans since early June.

"A lot of work has gone into this and were very proud of the work that has been done and the outcome, so we are excited for everyone to have a chance to see it," Dr. Moyer said.

Most people we talked to said they loved what they saw.

"I was rather impressed," Moline resident Patty Howell said. "I think the designs are going to be really great. I like the two story thing and all the openness."

But, not everyone who saw the new design was sold on the project:

"Well, I think it's a good idea what they're doing - they're just putting it in the wrong area," Larry Murphy, another Moline resident, said. "They just don't have the room there."

People who attended this special board meeting were asked to write down their concerns and questions. Those will be posted, along with formal responses, on the Moline District website.

The school board is expected to approve final conceptual designs at its regular meeting August 12.

Construction is set to begin on the Hamilton school project in May of next year, and the building should be finished by August 2015.

While the District Operational Plan, which was approved May 13, 2013, expands Hamilton school, it also calls for the closing of two other elementary schools over the next three years.

Back in May, the Moline School Board voted to close Garfield and Ericsson schools.

Many parents, staff and students voiced opposition to the plan, but the district says the closings will not only save money, they'll also help create a better overall education for students.

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