Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hamilton Rebuild

This article was in the PI this morning about the Hamilton rebuild. There two interesting points in it. One is that the district wants 27 feet from the park. I rechecked the info at Hamilton's site and the question asked on the FAQ is"exactly how much land does the district want" and the answer is not given in a clear number. Also, the questionaire to the community only mentions 11 feet from a garden area. Whether or not it's 27 or 11, this is exactly the kind of thing that gets the district in trouble when these issues come up.

Second, there was a question about when and why the district changed its tune about moving Hamilton into Lincoln after Roosevelt and Garfield were done. (This has never been explained in a clear manner.) Here's what Eleanor Trainer, the Community Liason for Facilities says in the article:

"While previous school district boards may have supported moving Hamilton students to Lincoln, that's not the intent of the current one, she said. There are more families on the north end of the city and a need for secondary schools, Trainor said, adding that there are waiting lists at Ballard and Roosevelt high schools.

"A lot of those students go to private schools, and we would really like to be able to serve them," Trainor said. "Circumstances change; we have to be able to change.""


A need for secondary schools? Well, Ingraham isn't full, Hale isn't running at capacity (and don't want to). But this statement would indicate that they intend to use Lincoln as a secondary school which is pretty much what I was told. (Specifically, Lincoln may become the Center School's new location.) And would this be after they renovate Hale (and likely Ingraham as well)?

Hard to fathom what the district is planning but they do send out signals like this periodically.

2 comments:

Sharon Rodgers said...

The recent post seemed more about the District's information flow (or lack thereof) but I'd like to take the opportunty to clarify some information raised about the Hamilton remodel.

First, regarding the park land that is being requested for the Hamilton remodel: In the 1970s one block of N 42nd street was abandoned and the land divided between the two landowners on either side: Parks and the School District. This was part of a joint plan to provide additional play space and as agreed the District built a black-top area that could be used during the day by the students and after school by the community (as the park had no blacktop area and no funds to construct one).

The northern half of the abandoned street (currently blacktop) comprises the 27 feet that the School District is currently asking to have transferred to allow a full-sized gym to be built as part of the Hamilton remodel. (The parking structure is another issue.) The question in the survey you mention referred to an additional 11 feet that would have extended part way into the "sunken garden" area of the park (3 feet of this were for the gymnasium and the rest for a relandscaped utilities easement). This request has been withdrawn back by the District in response to community input.

Second, regarding the timing of the decision not to move the Hamilton program into Lincoln: my first indication of this was back in 2005 (I think) when the Draft Facilities Master Plan came out and I noticed that the future use of Lincoln had changed from being used for the Hamilton program to being listed for interim use. In any case, the District has been clear for some time that they no longer intended to move Hamilton over to Lincoln although I agree that the rationale has not been fully explained. I’m intrigued by the possible use of the building as a future home for Center School as I hadn’t heard that among the myriad uses I have heard mentioned.

As I mentioned here before, there are many of us here who are extremely pleased that after waiting so long, our students will finally have a building that supports their learning. We are concerned about impacts on the park, but the impact of a sub-standard building on our community has been detrimental for years. It is frustrating that the lack of clear communication is creating so much unrest in our community but I urge people to not let that create divisions between us but to pull together to work on mitigating the impacts.

Beth Bakeman said...

From Nancy Clinkenbeard

" would like to respond to Melissa Westbrook's question about the amount of space needed for the Hamilton remodel (I tried to add a comment but it wouldn't let me unless I joined the group & I have difficulties joining groups for some reason):

The 27' of the land in the proposed transfer has been used as part of the Hamilton site since the early 1970’s as part of its asphalt play court. Prior to that it was a street & it has never been used by the park. This land transfer will have no impact on the amount of green space in Wallingford. The plan calls for converting a run-down asphalt play court into a gymnasium and basketball courts that will be available to the public during non-school hours. Everyone please come to the meeting on Thursday!

Nancy Clinkenbeard Hamilton PTSA President 2006-2007"