The Moline High School Bartlett Performing Arts Center is made possible through a partnership between Moline-Coal Valley School District and the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation. It will not only increase educational opportunities for Moline High School students and staff, but it will also bring the Moline community a cultural venue by welcoming more outside performers.
Over 35,000 square feet in renovations and a 10,000-square foot addition feature a complete gut and remodel of the 60-year-old auditorium. Work includes advanced audiovisual and lighting systems, handicap upgrades, and stadium-style seating that improves audience views to the stage. Other spaces include a music room, choral room, scene shop, dressing rooms, practice rooms, concessions area, and a multipurpose room for smaller performances. The corridor that connects the existing facility with the addition features a “river wall” inspired by Moline’s location amid two rivers.
Among those who participated in the design process were Moline High School students and staff, as well as representatives of the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation. The facility was designed by Legat Architects (Moline) and will be built by Russell Construction (Davenport). A rendering of the new center is below.
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The Board of Education gave its approval on Monday, March 13, to execute a Development Agreement with the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation for the construction, expansion, modification, renovation and furnishing of the Moline High School Auditorium into a new Bartlett Performing Arts Center. The new Bartlett Performing Arts center will renovate and expand the high school’s existing auditorium that was built in 1958 with a seating capacity of approximately 1,000. Centrally located on the Moline High School campus, the center will be used by the district as well as residents of Moline and the local community. It will host concerts, plays and other cultural and art-related events.
The center is named the Bartlett Performing Arts Center in memory of the Robert Bartlett family. Mr. Bartlett was an insurance executive and longtime benefactor of the City of Moline, whose interests included the arts, education and his community.
The foundation trustees agreed that a partnership with the district was the perfect fit for a new Bartlett Performing Arts Center. Budget for the center will be $10 million, and will be funded with $7 million from the Foundation and approximately $3 million from district’s future construction funds.
“This very generous gift will not only honor the legacy of Mr. Bartlett but will enhance the learning opportunities for generations of students, as well as allowing the citizens of Moline a venue to express and share their love of the arts,” said Lanty McGuire, Superintendent of Schools. “Mr. Bartlett was always a strong advocate for Moline schools and the arts. We are so grateful for this tremendous gift.”
“The Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation is pleased to partner with Moline-Coal Valley School District for the creation of the new center and to fulfill Robert’s vision of a performing arts venue that will be enjoyed by the Moline community for decades to come,” said Deb Bracke, Trustee.