Illinois school performing arts centers showcased at state’s largest education conference
Marquardt Performing Arts Center and Bartlett Performing Arts Center at Moline High School selected for Educational Environments Exhibit at Joint Annual Conference
In 2017, Marquardt Middle School (Glendale Heights, IL) welcomed the community to its new, 500-seat Performing Arts Center. Last winter, Moline High School (Moline, Illinois) unveiled its Bartlett Performing Arts Center, featuring a rejuvenated 800-seat auditorium. Both schools have used the facilities to grow their curricula, improve community connections, and provide more regional entertainment options.
In fall of 2019, the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) included both performing arts centers among the 22 projects in its 2019 Exhibition of Educational Environments, an annual display that showcases the state’s most influential educational projects. The exhibit was on display at the IASB/Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA)/Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) Joint Annual Conference. The Chicago conference, one of the nation’s largest state education conferences, draws more than 9,000 attendees including school board members, administrators, and business officials each year.
The Marquardt facility also received an Honorable Mention in the competition that coincides with the exhibition. Judging criteria included program/challenge, how the facility meets 21st century educational environment needs, aesthetics, sustainable features, safety, and integration of technology with the curriculum.
“The Marquardt PAC is shifting our image,” said Marquardt Middle School Principal Meredith Haugens. “It has enhanced the level of pride that we take in our building, not only among the staff but also among our students and the greater community. It shows that putting kids and their best interest is at the heart of everything we do.”
Marquardt Middle School Performing Arts Center
Marquardt Middle School’s new performing arts center unites the campus’s sixth and seventh/eighth grade buildings. The facility hosts activities ranging from musicals and dramatic performances to speech competitions and interdisciplinary projects. It also inspired the district to boost its fine arts program to improve student confidence and encourage teamwork.
The 33,000-square-foot facility features the 500-seat auditorium and a STEAM lab, as well as rooms for art, choir, orchestra, and for the first time, drama.
Marquardt School District 15 Superintendent Dr. Jerry O’Shea said, “Typically, schools have separate classrooms for math, language arts, social studies, science, and other subjects. The STEAM lab unites all of these in an open, flexible space where students can research, design, and construct projects.”
“The Marquardt PAC is shifting our image. It has enhanced the level of pride that we take in our building, not only among the staff but also among our students and the greater community.” – Meredith Haugens, Marquardt Middle School Principal
The facility was designed by Legat Architects and Slingshot Architecture. IHC Construction built the center.
Bartlett Performing Arts Center at Moline High School
The expanded and renovated Bartlett Performing Arts Center strengthens Moline High School’s curriculum and creates a regional entertainment destination.
“We now truly have a state-of-the-art area for the arts and we’re thrilled to share such a tremendous facility with the community.” – Trista Sanders, Moline High School Principal
The 35,000-square-foot makeover converts a 60-year-old, single-slope auditorium into a professional-quality venue with 800 stadium-style seats, all-new lighting and audiovisual systems, and handicap accessibility. Other renovated spaces include dressing rooms, practice rooms, a concessions area, and a scene shop with garage doors that open directly to the stage and to the outdoors.
The 10,000-square-foot addition features a curving glass wall that displays nighttime activity in the new lobby, where a 40-foot-long graphic introduces the performing arts center to the community. A stone “river wall,” inspired by the school’s location between two major rivers, spans the lobby and flows from the main entry to the back entrance.
The addition also houses three light-filled fine arts instructional rooms: instrumental music, choral, and multipurpose. The multipurpose room, equipped with lighting and audiovisual systems, doubles as a black box theater for smaller performances.
Moline High School Principal Trista Sanders said, “From the classrooms to the multiuse and performance spaces, from the set shop to the theater rigging and technology, we now truly have a state-of-the-art area for the arts and we’re thrilled to share such a tremendous facility with the community.”
Legat designed and Russell built the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.
See more photos of the Bartlett Performing Arts Center at Moline High School or get the whole story on this “vital hub of creativity and engagement.”
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