An article has already been written about Hamilton International Middle School’s new additions, but here is an insider’s perspective anyway. This is my third year at Hamilton. My experience has always been pleasant and the building itself, though somewhat annoying when I’m trying to reach faraway classes, has been a solid good.
The portables that have taken over the Hamilton playtop have been designated for eighth graders such as myself. I have three classes in the portables as do many of my friends. The portables on the inside are not particularly offensive, they are simply boxes with gray carpet and white walls, not much different from a classroom. The difference between one of the established classrooms in the main building and the portables lies more in the equipment available than in the actual classroom, though the portables are smaller. The teachers were not provided with clocks or projectors. We also didn’t have bookshelves, wi-fi or computers. One portable wasn’t finished by the first day so other accommodations had to be made. The location of the portables has not affected my getting to other classes in the building on time, nor has the weather been bad so not a bad walk inside.
The area previously designated for recess on the playtop is all but gone thanks to the portables. The middle-school students are now allowed out into Wallingford Park. The boundaries are the gravel path to the west fence to the netted-off grass. We are not allowed into the picnic area, the tennis courts, or the playground. This will change as winter comes when the HIMS gym will be available depending on classes and weather.
Some of you may be wondering why the sudden building of portables? I will tell you. There are many more teachers this year because there are many more students, because there are many more people in Seattle. Hamilton is also a magnet school hosting such programs as Spectrum and HCC (Highly Capable Cohort), and Special Ed. This means that not only do kids come from Wallingford but from all over the North. There is currently another middle school being built (only three years after the creation of Jane Adams Middle School).
Hopefully Seattle Public Schools will come up with a way to stay ahead of the extreme growth in Seattle. To all you Wallingford residents anxious to regain your park and hoops, know that the portables are a temporary solution to a long-term problem. As for the portables’ final grade, only time will tell.