The Springfield School District plans to open a new Hamlin Middle School building this winter. It’s much larger than the current 70-year old campus and will help the school focus on STEAM—science, engineering, technology, arts and math.
The Hamlin marching band rehearses in the old building’s gym.
The gym doesn’t accommodate the entire student body. A new school building has been on the district’s list of projects to complete for nearly 15 years but became a reality after Springfield voters passed a $71.5 million bond measure in November 2014.
Congressman Peter DeFazio of Springfield toured the old Hamlin and checked out the new one which is still in the finishing stages of construction.
DeFazio says the new school will address some issues with education.
DeFazio- “How do you keep all the kids engaged and interested and get higher graduation rates, you know, out of high school but also not disadvantage kids who are going to go on to college versus those who are going to choose their vocational tracks?”
These are questions the new campus seeks to answer, with hands on labs and a design focused around the curriculum, versus a curriculum focused around building design. Recently, students built Solar cookers for refugees around the world.
DeFazio-“That’s making education somewhat fun, and still accomplishing the goals!”
Springfield Superintendent Susan Reike-Smith says she’s hoping Hamlin is just the first new school building that will incorporate technology and vocational learning.
Reike-Smith: “This is not a one-off for us. This is how we want to do business going forward in Springfield Public Schools. You know, it’s only a matter of dollars.”
The plan is to have Hamlin Student in their new school after winter break on January 4th.