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Former Turner School Building
Adaptive Re-Use, Historic Renovation
and Building Addition
1410 Broadway - Rockford, Illinois


Historic Turner School

The Turner School is a historic school building located at 1410 Broadway in Rockford, Illinois. The school was built in 1898 for a construction cost of $25,588.74. It was named for city Alderman, J.M. Turner. Rockford architectural firm Bradley & Carpenter designed the school in a combination of three popular contemporary architectural styles: Classical Revival, Colonial Revival and Richardsonian Romanesque. The two-and-a-half story building is built from brick with a limestone foundation and a hipped roof. The main entrance is on the south side facing Broadway. It is an arched entrance and located within a projecting bay with a gabled pediment. The building’s roof includes an octagonal cupola and gabled dormers.

After the school closed, the building was leased for private use from 1973 until 2011. In 2015, the building was approved for use as a police station. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 29th, 2015.

For the past several years, the Rockford Police Department has been implementing a department-wide community policing philosophy that is focused on building strong relationships in the community, community based problem solving, and organizational transformation to establish community policing as an agency wide way of doing business.  Geographic policing and neighborhood based police facilities are another step forward in achieving those goals.  The locations of each of the three district stations were chosen based upon several factors, including volume of police calls for service, violent crime, and the geographical population centers of each district.  The Turner School facility is a perfect match for the criteria based on the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.  We are moving from a monolithic downtown structure that is far from any residential area to districts in the heart of some of the most challenged areas of the city.  We strive to be part of the neighborhoods and this building, along with the other two district buildings, helps us achieve that goal.

-Doug Pann, City of Rockford Police Department

Construction Process
All successful historic preservation projects begin with a professionallycontrolled demolition. Schmeling Construction Co. was hired in late summer of 2015 to perform phase one demolition work to remove non-historic tenant buildout suites and nonfunctional mechanical and electrical systems. The demolition also allowed the architects and engineers access to areas that could not be accessed or seen previously which assisted in the final design. Schmeling Construction Co. was then hired as the construction manager to help with design input for constructability and cost saving ideas while still maintaining the historic intent.

The construction phase began in mid-March of 2016. Phase two demolition was time consuming because many features needed to be saved and reinstalled. Two of these features included thousands of feet of wood trim and the many pieces of original slate blackboards.

Some of the biggest architectural and construction challenges of the project included hiding all of the new plumbing, heating and cooling, fire protection, electrical, data and security systems while still maintaining the original historic features. The building was updated to current codes including life safety and ADA. Other challenges included architecturally correct exterior window replacement, door and hardware upgrades (for code and security reasons), original wood floor restoration, new ceilings to match the original features and the installation of a new elevator in the core of the building.

The mechanical and electrical systems were completely replaced and a new emergency generator was installed. The original masonry chases in the building were reused as supply and return air ducts after they were cleaned and sealed. Roofing was replaced after new decking was installed as needed, gable ends restored and the cupola was completely restored and brought back to its original beauty. The building also includes a new stair tower addition on the north elevation to allow easy access from the lower level to additional floors and the attic. It also helps tie in the elevation changes between the gym addition built in the 1960’s and the main building. This addition also provides a more secure entrance for the police officers. Employee shower rooms, lockers, incident investigation and evidence rooms, as well as, additional safety features needed in a geo-policing facility were also added to this historic building.

The project completed on time and on budget. The substantial completion date in December allowed the team to take full advantage of the historic tax credits.

The redevelopment of Turner School as a geo-policing station accomplished two objectives for the City of Rockford: its location was ideal to deter crime in southeast Rockford and its central location relative to the other two stations made it efficient for community policing. As a historic structure, Turner School was eligible for tax incentives which reduced the cost of the project by approximately $4 million, or nearly 40% of the cost of redevelopment. Federal and State of Illinois historic tax credits total an estimated $3.5 million. Sales tax exemption on building materials by its inclusion in the River Edge Redevelopment Zone added an estimated $400,000 in project cost savings. Finally, the project’s location within the Broadway TIF District will save the City an estimated $300,000 in annual real estate taxes until such time as the City is eligible to purchase the property.

-John Phelps, Rockford Local Development Corp.

Project Statistics:

Total Labor Hours on Site-All Trades: 45,000 Hours

100,000 Feet of Low Voltage Cabling

30 Miles of Copper Wire

40,000 Feet of Conduit

68,000 Square Feet of Drywall ( Football Field = 57,600 SqFt)

7 Tons of Joint Compound

23,000 Linear Feet of Drywall Tape

2.25 Miles of Metal Studs

60,000 Drywall Screws

14,000 Square Feet of Roofing Shingles

1,400 Gallons of Paint, Stain, Et Cetera

Rick Allen, Superintendent, Schmeling Construction Co.
Austin Crull, Senior Project Manager, City of Rockford, Leo Flosi,
Lead Superintendent and
Earl Wilsey, Project Manager
(both of Schmeling Construction Co.)

Dave Rudolph’s father went to Turner School. One day in 5th or 6th grade he was sent to the attic to retrieve something for the teacher. He saw a pile of plaques and picked up a couple to look at them. The second one had his father’s (Walt Rudolph) name on it. He brought it home and now Dave displays it in his trophy case. Dave is the owner of Rudolph Masonry.

Jim Harris found this signed beam in the Turner attic. The man who signed it was the father-in-law of Ken Baraconi. His father-in-law was a union painter in the late 1950’s hired to paint the sprinkler piping at Turner. (Jim Harris and Ken Baraconi are owners of Mike Harris Mason Contractor) .

Project Team
Tenants: City of Rockford Police Department
Developer: Turner School LLC, Rockford Local Development Corporation
Architects: Hagney Architects, LLC - Rockford, IL
FGM Architects, Inc. - Oakbrook, IL

Construction Manager: Schmeling Construction Co. - Rockford, IL
Project Manager: J. Earl Wilsey - Schmeling Construction Co.
Lead Superintendent: Leo Flosi - Schmeling Construction Co.
Superintendent: Richard Allen - Schmeling Construction Co.
Lenders: Alpine Bank - Rockford, IL
Stillman Bank - Rockford, IL
Northwest Bank - Rockford, IL
Blackhawk Bank - Rockford, IL


Automatic Fire Systems, Inc.
Bofo Waterproofing Systems
Cardinal Glass Company
Carpetland USA
Carroll Seating Inc.
Carney & Co., Inc.
CorPro Screentech Inc.
CPR Roofing, Inc.
Curtal Corporation
Distinctive Roofing Inc.
Executive Plastering Co.
Floors Inc.
Forest City Decorators
Garaventa Lift
Marshall V. Nelson Landscaping
Mike Harris Mason Contractor Inc.
Miller Engineering
Northern Illinois Service Co.
Norwest Construction Inc.
Raynor Door Authority
Rock Valley Fence & Deck
Rockford Central Tile & Terrazzo 
The Rockwell Group
Rudolph Masonry Inc.
Schindler Elevator Corp.
Shade Aire Company


Hines Supply
Premier Woodwork Inc.
Rogers Ready-Mix
Schmeling Building Supply
Security Builders Supply Co.
Valley Security Company