Inside look at United Township High School renovations

EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- Something new is going to greet students at one of Rock Island County's largest high schools.

A $10 million construction project at United Township High School is transforming the building and should be finished as the first students arrive in nearly two weeks.

Superintendent Jay Morrow said the building, built-in 1960, did not require much work.

"The bones were good," Morrow said. "It just needed a face-lift."

That face-lift started at the main entrance. The new design features added double doors and a school resource officer right around the corner, in a newly renovated office space, for extra security.

The nearly $10 million dollar project is made possible, in part, to Rock Island County voters agreeing to raise the sales tax in November of 2016. That tax now helping fund school improvements like UT's new school library.

"We'll have little study rooms on each side where small groups can work together to work on projects," Morrow said. "We have a whiteboard in here but also it’s mounted for a TV touch screen. So if kids want to work on presentation it will basically be their personal smartboard."

New features now blending with the old to create a brand new space for students -- a commons area.

"This is going to be the wow factor," Morrow said. "It gives a lot of elbow space. They'll be tables in here. Students can work on their studies or just socialize -- something that's well needed for our students."

The most notable feature? A metal sheet mural with "UTHS" cut out and lighted to illuminate through a wall of windows.

"We felt that putting in an addition to our school had to reflect our community," Morrow said. "The United Township community is a factory - industrial community. And we felt that a design that reflected that community was appropriate for the school building."

An old building that Jay Morrow calls the center of the community.

"The High School is for our five separate communities that send their schools here. And we just hope that this is something that the community is very proud of," Morrow said.

A ribbon-cutting will be held August 5th before school begins. At that time, parents and students will be able to take guided tours to view the renovations.

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