Molino Civic Complex
Escambia County renovates a historic schoolhouse to provide governmental services to residents in the north end.
This historic elementary school built in 1939 as part of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) had been vacant for years, when it was purchased by the County and renovated to provide a community center, library and local historical society museum. The North End of Escambia County is primarily rural, so this complex brings greater access to community and governmental services to the formerly underserved area. DAG team members met with key city departments and many user groups throughout the design process, and attended meetings of the historical society to become attuned to the meaningful place the old Molino School held in the community.
While renovating to accommodate the new programs, building elements were carefully selected to be consistent with the historic nature of the structure. The building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were completely redone, and the facility upgraded to meet ADA and life safety codes. Other Escambia County public offices became interested in consolidating to this central location, and a new complementary office building for the County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser was constructed on the campus. This 7,000 SF building received a rating of Two Green Globes for sustainability, the equivalent of LEED Silver.