Q. Years ago, the old convalescent hospital that belonged to Mercy Hospital on or about Central Park Avenue and Marquette Street, adjacent to Lombard and Washington Streets campus, was repurposed to become a "special needs student school."

Later, the facility that we now know as Truman Elementary was built, and the students were relocated there. It was at the time, purposely designed to accommodate wheelchairs, etc. Since then, it has become a "regular" school, as the school district integrated the special needs students into the rest of the education community, which I personally applaud.

There has been some discussion about what the original school was named.

One vote is for "Marquette School." This facility combined the County Special Needs children with the Davenport Special Needs Children somewhere past 1970.

Any clarification or help you could provide will be most appreciated. — Barbara

A. We contacted Genesis Health System, the Davenport Community School District and the Davenport Public Library regarding your question.

Andy Burman, senior communications specialist, researched the subject in "From simplicity to elegance: The story of Mercy Hospital, Davenport, from 1869-1994," by Sister Mary Brigid Condon. He did not find information regarding the subject but recommended contacting the Davenport Community School District.

Dawn Saul, communications/media relations for the school district, said volunteers from the Davenport School Museum researched the question and provided the following information:

• There was a Marquette Street School at 14th and Marquette streets that was first listed in the staff directory in 1954-55.

• In 1962, the Marquette Street School became part of the Davenport Community School District.

• In 1970, the school moved to 2406 Marquette St.

• From 1970-71 to the 1972-73 school year, it was known as the Area Development Center.

• Then in the 1973-74 school year, it was listed as the Marquette School.

• The Marquette School closed in 1978-79 when Truman Elementary School, specifically built to address the concerns of special needs students, opened. Truman was originally built with wider doorways, wheelchair accessibility, larger classrooms, etc., to accommodate a range of physical needs.

• The Marquette School was in use from 1978-79 by TAPP (Teen Academic Parenting Program) until the spring of 1998 when the building was torn down.

The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center at the Davenport Public Library checked the 1954 Polk City Directory for Davenport for information on the Marquette Street School. The County School for Retarded Children was listed at 1410 Marquette St., Davenport.

Today, a converted fire station is located at 1410 N. Marquette St., Davenport, according to the Scott County Assessor's website. The sign above the big red doors reads Old Hose Company No. 6. In 1970, the Marquette Street School moved to 2406 Marquette St. The area now appears to be the entrance to a parking lot at Genesis Medical Center-West Central Park, Davenport.

Ask the Times appears on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can call 563-333-2632, email ask@qctimes.com or write Ask the Times, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801.

 

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