Mark Twain Elementary School/Facebook
Mark Twain Elementary

New elementary building opens in Bettendorf, Iowa

Jan. 9, 2020
Mark Twain Elementary is replacing 2 schools—the old Mark Twain and Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

The Bettendorf (Iowa) school district has opened a new Mark Twain Elementary School that is replacing two older campuses.

The Quad City Times reports that the new building sits on the same site as its two-section predecessor, but it has more than 20,000 square feet of added space.

The 65,800-square-foot campus has capacity for more than 450 students in grades preK to 5. The students had been attending the old Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

“It’s astonishing,” says Mitch Winterlin, a high school senior, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and public tour of the school. He attended elementary school in the old Mark Twain, and has two younger siblings beginning in the new one.

“This is an entirely different facility, in every aspect.” 

For the first half of the school year, Mark Twain’s students were split between two campuses; the youngest students attended Thomas Jefferson, and older students had classes at Ross College's Bettendorf campus.

In August 2018, the Bettendorf board voted to close Thomas Jefferson and merge its student body with Mark Twain. Students have been combined by grade level since the beginning of the school year, but this week marked the first time that all students were together in the same building. 

Much of the additional space in the school comes from separating the cafeteria and gymnasium, more than doubling the size of the gym and adding common areas. “Learning steps” connect the cafeteria to the library and media center.

The project was initially estimated to cost $16.5 million. Director of Finance Brietta Collier says there are still some costs that needed to be accounted for before a final cost was available.

The architect is Legat Architects, and the builder is Bush Construction

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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