Linn-Mar Intermediate

Marion, Iowa
  • Client
    Linn-Mar Community School District
  • SQ. FT.
    115,000
  • Budget
    $55,000,000
  • Market

One of the fastest growing districts in the state, the Linn-Mar Community School District is at 91% capacity. At the current projected enrollment increase of 2 to 3% each year, the district will reach nearly 8,000 students by 2022-23. The district has outgrown and will continue to surpass its existing facilities. Based on feedback from staff, students, parents, and community members as well as facility assessments, OPN Architects assisted the Linn-Mar school board and district leadership in drafting a restructuring plan that will support this continued growth of the district.

The first phase of the 10-year plan is the construction of two intermediate buildings for grades 5 and 6 and restructuring to a new grade format — pre-K/K-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-12 — for the 2020-21 school year. The overall facilities plan, which strategically address capacity, efficiency, safety and building-access issues, includes both new construction and renovations to improve educational facilities for all students from pre-K through 12th grade over the next 10 years. The plan is informed by the district-wide facility assessments conducted by OPN.

Over the course of four months, the project team worked closely with stakeholders to assess the schools through a highly collaborative process that started with a thorough review of existing facilities to gain an understanding of context, conditions, room use, overall space utilization, and building and structural systems and identify needs and deficiencies. The team also assessed curriculum alignment, proposing program and site options for new facilities, and established a concept-level cost estimate. In tandem with the facility assessment process, the project team met weekly with the district steering committee to generate additional feedback, present ideas and concepts, and ultimately build consensus around a vision for the district. Additionally, the steering committee and design team convened a Facilities Committee made up of community members and district stakeholders to identify, prioritize and refine existing building improvements and additions over the course of a series of five meetings throughout four months. In advance of a successful bond referendum in September 2018, OPN provided communications support working in concert with district staff on key messaging for and design of graphics, social media, website, presentations, and handout materials.

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