In a special section on the 21st century school, The Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota highlighted a number of innovations ranging from new teaching methods to state-of-the-art building styles. There’s Gibbs Elementary, set to open later this year, which features interactive white boards that can display videos and other high-tech material. There are the 5,000 Minnesota students who are taking all of their classes online. And then there’s arguably the most innovative school of all, and it’s Grand Meadow School, which opted to build five Monolithic Dome buildings in 2002. Eight years after it opened, the school is still making news. And it’s not just the shape that makes the school noteworthy. Superintendent Joe Brown reports that the school saves 25 percent per year on maintenance and energy costs.
It’s not often that a school district gets plan approval and a grant from its state legislature for twice the money the school district asks for. But Grand Meadow, Minnesota ISD #495 did! On September 15, 1998 Grand Meadow voters passed a bond for $8 million for a much needed Kindergarten through Grade 12 facility. For its 400 students and 30 teachers, Grand Meadow’s approved plan calls for five Monolithic Domes.