The drawings for Woodcrest Elementary School, one of Alden B. Dow’s last educational projects, were completed in January of 1969. Construction bids were due in early May of that year, and the Board of Education of Midland Public Schools approved the bids and contractors shortly thereafter on May 12. Collinson Construction Company of Midland was selected as general contractor for its bid of $482,570. Mechanical and electrical contracts brought the total cost to $817,819.
The 39,150 square foot single-story structure was designed to serve 620 students in kindergarten through Grade 6. Its exterior features a flat roof and extensive walls of brick with a remarkable absence of windows. An open courtyard, however, dominates the center of the basically square floorplan. Next to the courtyard is the library, while two kindergarten rooms have views of the open space from the other side.
Separated by corridors on opposite sides of the square are two “Quest Rooms”. Connected to each Quest Room are two classroom triads of three teaching stations each, all separable by the use of movable partitions. The primary purpose of these Quest Rooms was to provide a separate definable area of flexibility and versatility where group activities requiring manipulative skills or action activities could take place.
These might include noisier activities like small play practice, still under the teacher’s watchful eye, but out of the classroom where such an activity might interfere with instruction or quiet study. Since the classrooms were carpeted and the Quest Rooms had a hard surfaced floor, they also offered a place to work on potentially messy activity projects as part of art or science classes.
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