If the school at 8402 30th SW were to stay open one more year, it would celebrate its 60th anniversary. David T. Denny Junior High School – named after the first member of the Denny Party to arrive in Seattle – opened in the fall of 1952, with 1,030 students, according to this Seattle Public Schools document telling its story, which says its enrollment peaked at more than 1,600 a decade later, with 22 portables in use.
But now, Denny’s five buildings have only a matter of days left to house students and staff. After the last classes later this month, Denny principal Jeff Clark and his team will move into their new building barely a block east, adjacent to Chief Sealth International High School, and the old buildings comprising the original Denny campus will be torn down.
This Tuesday, an informational meeting about the demolition and ensuing sports field/park construction is planned, mostly for neighbors and other interested community members.
But for the sentimental side of a school about to be turned into rubble, a gathering this weekend packed the punch.
Community members – alums, former staffers, anyone and everyone – were invited in for “One Last Look” on Saturday morning, concluding with memories shared in the cafetorium.
Among those reminiscing – Denny’s renowned music director, Marcus Pimpleton, also a former Denny student, talking about the support he received while studying there – and the support he has worked to give while teaching there:
The “essence” of Denny, Pimpleton insisted, will move with it to its new building. And its co-location with Sealth brings many possibilities, said Aurora Lora, the district’s executive director of West Seattle-region schools:
Many concerns and questions about the Denny/Sealth site-sharing have simmered in the years since the co-location plan surfaced; the schools’ principals answered questions just last month. But as Lora said, the focus now is on the move, and a fresh start. As for the demolition/construction project, the community meeting is at 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, June 14) at Southwest Community Center – we have more information on that, and the schedule for the months ahead, here.
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