Marion Independent School District

Marion, Iowa
  • Client
    Marion Independent School District
  • Market

OPN Architects has worked with the Marion Independent School District since 2010 with a science addition to the high school’s southwest corner. The project was completed in three phases to accommodate budget and the academic calendar.

In 2012, the school district decided to reorganize Vernon Middle School to include fifth grade students and update the building to provide students with access to a state-of-the-art learning environment. The school district engaged OPN Architects to lead the design of the project. With OPN’s assistance, the district decided to make use of the existing site, but to replace the building with a brand new facility. In addition, the athletic facilities were updated and remodeled to accommodate the school’s increased enrollment. The team approached the project in phases to allow the school to function during construction.

In 2017, our team designed the new Longfellow Elementary for the district. Then in 2020, our firm was re-engaged to facilitate master planning and bond support for the district. With the help of a community facility group, the district arrived at a plan for renovations and additions to Francis Marion Intermediate and the high school, including a new outdoor stadium, performance venue and a new elementary school. The plan was informed by the district-wide facility assessments conducted by OPN. Held during 2020 and 2021, all meetings were conducted socially distanced or virtually, including online building tours using 360-degree camera images and videos. OPN also provided bond communication support including social media, website, online presentations, and other materials. In March 2021, the bond passed with an 84.6% approval.

Following a successful bond vote, OPN began design of the first phase: the outdoor complex , which will be complete in November 2022. Phase two includes renovations to the intermediate school and a new 50,000-square-foot elementary to replace an aging elementary school. Both will be complete in summer 2023. Phase three will be a new performance venue and renovations to the high school, slated to begin construction in early 2024.

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