Final days for what began as David T. Denny Junior High School

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.

6 Replies to "Final days for what began as David T. Denny Junior High School"

  • Horatio June 13, 2011 (6:48 pm)

    Who writes this idiotic copy?

    Before writing such drivel you should familiarize yourself with where Denny really is.

    “Barely a block”??? Really???

    The west border of the old Denny is 30th SW

    The west border of the new Denny is 27th SW

    • WSB June 13, 2011 (6:57 pm)

      Hi, Horatio! I write the “idiotic copy” aka “drivel.” I drive the stretch between Denny and Sealth every day (our son is a student at Sealth) and live relatively close by. In my mind, it’s a block from the easternmost edge of the Denny campus, which sprawls down the hillside as I’m sure you know, to the westernmost edge of the Sealth campus. Maybe it’s two? Will be driving back that way from the meeting I’m currently covering in White Center and will hit the odometer just for fun. Thanks for your kind critique – Tracy

  • Denny June 13, 2011 (9:28 pm)

    Story Problem:
    If the east side of the old Denny campus is on the alley between 29 & 28, and the west side of the New Denny campus is 27, and one person says it’s a block, and the other overreacts and throws down, intimating a lack of referential and geographical knowledge, who needs to go back to school?

    • WSB June 13, 2011 (9:47 pm)

      I drove it en route back from WC. From the southwest edge of Sealth campus to the northeast corner of Denny campus (health center), yes, it’s a block. I could have just said “nearby,” I suppose. Wouldn’t have been as poetic.

  • bridge to somewhere June 14, 2011 (9:23 am)

    Horatio: wow, are we a little high strung? You can disagree with something and point it out, but show some class, will you? And before you talk about “idiotic copy,” you might ask yourself if an English teacher ever told you it’s a mark of high quality grammar to include multiple question marks at the end of a sentence.

  • Jay Jay June 14, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    Maybe it’s really not that important to print the exact location? Let us all focus on bigger problems: hunger, homless families, unemployed, etc.

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