Hundreds of people–from neighbors, students and faculty, to Seattle Public School Board Members–came out during this gorgeous, cloudless morning for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Hamilton International Middle School. Members from the Hamilton Marimba Band welcomed guests with a fun and festive piece called “Mardi Gras.”
Principal Christopher Carter began the ceremony, thanking everyone involved and said he was thrilled to be leaving their temporary home at Lincoln High School, “with all due respect,” he added with a wry grin.
As several members from the design and construction team raised the flag in front of the school, the Eureka (a.k.a. Farmers Insurance) Zeppelin flew overhead.
Wallingford resident Sharon Rodgers, who is President of Schools’ First (the coalition to help pass the levies for construction funds), thanked the area residents “who provided so much input to the process and put up with noise and inconvenience during the construction,” and she especially mentioned those “who live so close to the building.”
There seemed to be more people designated as ribbon cutters than there was ribbon, as people representing the school, the school board, and the construction and design teams were invited to cut the ribbon at the top of the front steps.
With the ribbon officially cut, visitors were led to the Commons – a light- and flag-filled room where they were entertained by music performed by the (most excellent, I might add) Hamilton Senior Jazz Combo. Principal Carter continued by introducing Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and members of the Seattle School Board.
While Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson took the podium thanking people including the neighbors in the community, it was School Board President Michael DeBell who gave us a brief history lesson when he said, “during the 1920s, the Wallingford and Fremont areas were filling up with young families and they needed a middle school. 90 years later, once again Wallingford is filled with young families looking for the great quality of life here in the city of Seattle and the great educational opportunities that are available at a place like HIMS. Once again, we have growth in our enrollment in Seattle and we need to refurbish these building that were conceived so long ago.” As he pointed to the colorful flags flanking the sides of the Commons, he noted that, “the flags are a symbol of our connection with the rest of the world.”
Sherry Carr, the school board member representing the district area, marveled that she had been on the construction site 20 months ago, and that where everyone sat today, there was nothing but “a sea of mud with snow on the ground.” She was delighted with the outcome and thanked the team that had worked on the remodel.
Hamilton Associated Student Body President Melia Wong took the stage and quipped, “when I was writing this speech, I wanted to say something important about academics and how the new Hamilton Building will change all of our lives. But what I am truly excited about is the new lockers. I’m truly excited about the new classrooms, and the new bathrooms.”
The Hamilton International Middle School “All Community Celebration” will take place on Saturday, October 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where the public will be able to tour the newly completed historical buildings. Hope to see you there!
Want to see more photos from this morning’s event? Click below to view the photo album.