Alden B. Dow began the drawings for Northeast Elementary School in December of 1951. It had a simple floorplan of five classrooms, an office, and a work room lined up on either side of a single corridor. It featured a monitor roof with glass block windows rising 5 feet above the roofline. For the exterior, the architect specified Summitville Smooth Reds Nos. 121 and 122 from the Lincoln Brick Company instead of his usual Chicago Common brick. The finish woodwork on the outside was clear Western pine; on the inside, it was quarter sawn white oak.
Collinson Construction Company of Midland was selected as general contractor with its construction bid of $77,071. Bids for plumbing, heating, and electrical work brought the total cost of Northeast Elementary to $134,840. At the time of its opening, the school enrolled 108 students in kindergarten through third grade.
Not long after its opening, Mr. Dow began work on an addition to the now named Plymouth Elementary School. The L-shaped floorplan was added to the back of the existing structure to form an overall U-shaped configuration. Nine new classrooms enabled the school to accommodate students in fourth through sixth grades. The addition also included a library, a large arts and crafts room, an assembly room with kitchen, as well as offices and meeting rooms.
A third addition was completed in 1957 that created six more classrooms in extensions to the east and west corridors at the back of the school. The glass block monitor roof was continued in both additions in keeping with the design of the original building.
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