Students Send Off Lynden Middle School Building

Students Send Off Lynden Middle School Building
Posted on 06/12/2018

For a few final hours on Tuesday, students were cramming into the Lynden Middle School building. For the last time.

When students walk out of LMS on Main Street on Tuesday, the last day of school for the 2017-18 school year, it will mark the end of an era for a building that once was home to high schoolers and middle schoolers, allowing students and teachers to transition to the brand-new Line Road middle school site.

“This has been a dream for the teachers,” says LMS principal Molly Mitchell-Mumma about the transition. “One of the things I’m most proud of about this new building, teachers and community members had so much say in the design. The students had input on furniture, choosing the student chair and input on desks. We have sought their opinion.”

Opening for teacher access by mid-July, teachers will have time to migrate their rooms from the old building to the new building through August, allowing them to go back and forth between the two as they figure out what exactly they want to bring into the new space. And it isn’t just new space for the sake of a building, it is a fresh way of approaching learning.

Contrasting the egg-carton style of the old LMS with packed hallways—around 700 students have used a space designed for 300—and rooms loading off the hallways, the new school was built for modern learning.

Each learning wing has several breakout spaces with tech bars that include seating and benches, places for students to hang out. Classrooms will look out onto shared learning space so as teachers work in teams, they can collaborate directly with their teammates across these areas. That design also allows them to create integrated lessons. “They could have a multi-concept project and the kids could all be working on it in what amounts to an extended classroom with the shared learning space,” Mitchell-Mumma says.

New technology abounds, from wireless throughout the building to more computers for teachers to use. “The whole building becomes the classroom in that way,” she says.

The library features mini-conference rooms, akin to a college campus.

“It will be a totally different environment,” Mitchell-Mumma says. “Our teachers are ready for that, to collaborate and work together on lessons. The students are not going to know what to do with all that space.”

While the old space gets dark and the air doesn’t circulate well, the new building features oodles of natural light, fresh air circulation and plenty of space designed for students. In the cafeteria, for example, a garage door feature allows sunny days to spill inside and amphitheater seating creates a fun place for classes to meet or students to have lunch, an idea seen by a Lynden teacher at a different campus and built into Lynden.

“From the beginning the community passed the bond and was involved (in the design), including the teachers,” Mitchell-Mumma says. “It has been really fun.”

With such a different building, next year will offer a learning opportunity in how to use the space. Mitchell-Mumma says the robust student government put in place in the past couple of years will help students define new expectations and new traditions. It all happens new at LMS.