Hunt Elementary prepares to open 12 classroom addition this fall
Hunt Elementary prepares to open 12 classroom addition this fall
Posted on 02/27/2018

Fifth grade students Sarei Nelson, Landen Niehaus, Zoily Pineda, and Daniel Sides are already looking forward to next school year.

In the Fall of 2018 they will be among the first group of Hunt Elementary sixth graders who will learn in classrooms rather than portables in over a decade.

The 12 classroom addition project at Hunt will be completed by the September 2018-19 school year with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders occupying the new rooms. Plans are under way to integrate the new classrooms which will adjoin to the rest of the school as a seamless continuation.

Hun Elementary studentsHunt Principal Rebecca Williams and some fifth-grade students sat down recently to talk about the new addition and how it will impact students.

As they began discussing the new classrooms it became immediately clear the priority for students and staff at Hunt is focusing on the improved student learning environment. Williams said they are eager to have all students receive instruction from their homeroom classroom in the building where everyone will be together.

“All of our decisions are made with a Response To Intervention (RTI) and professional development learning commitment, and with students in mind. All decisions will be made based on what’s best for kids,” said Williams. A leadership team is currently working to determine priorities and use of the space.

The students said they are looking forward to technology improvements. The 1-to-1 initiative will provide each student with a technology device, there will be additional display screens, and sound systems with a microphone for teachers to wear.

Currently, in the portables laptops are wheeled out in a cart and handed out. “Sometimes the computers have dead batteries,” said Sides. Niehaus pointed out the time it currently takes for the teacher to hand out the computers and assist students with startup before lessons can begin is a lot.

Nelson is looking forward to personalizing her computing device. “Everyone likes their computer a certain way,” she said.

There will be more classroom space and project rooms for individualized groups. “Some kids can work together in the project room and this will help them learn more,” said Pineda.

“I think it’s going to be great because they are better and improved classrooms. We can learn better and learn more things at one time,” said Niehaus.

Moving students into the school building will improve time management for students and staff. They will have easier access to the library, gymnasium, lunch, and bathrooms.

 “When we’re in the portables someone has to come with me each time I go into the school building,” said Nelson.

Hunt ElementaryThe school has embraced the construction taking place with a construction theme in the building. Teachers have construction hats and bulletin boards are lined with construction tape. “The construction crew is building the space for the learning needs, but our students and teachers are constructing the learning that needs to happen,” said Williams.

They have also developed a relationship with the crew who are constructing the new classrooms. Recently, the construction workers participated in a sock drive held by Hunt students and together they donated more than 3,000 pairs of socks. The workers were invited to be in a group photo with students. “I think they know they are working to build a space where kids feel safe and welcome and a place where they can learn,” said Williams.

This is a big deal. We need to help our students see what a gift this is.
Hunt Principal Rebecca Williams

The Hunt addition is a change in scope for the 2015 Bond Pope Elementary Project. The changes balance student enrollment better between Hunt and Pope. Keeping more students at Hunt is likely to reduce boundary changes.

The project was approved by the Puyallup School Board after a presentation in November 2016 by the school district’s 13-member bond oversight committee. The committee includes nine residents appointed by the board as well as district officials. The committee’s duties include keeping a sharp eye on bond projects, and recommending changes as needed.

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello stated, “Shaw Road and Hunt are our prototypical elementary schools and share the same design; therefore, it’s a huge advantage to using that same model at Hunt. In addition, it allows us to be more efficient and save district taxpayers approximately 2.8 million dollars.”

Watch the Hunt construction project time lapse camera.