It's 'Bye-bye, boardwalk,' and 'Hello, school,' for Sandymount students

November 01, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

With rhythmic hand-clapping punctuating the verses, the Sandymount Elementary School first-graders chanted:

"Bye-bye, boardwalk, it's been smooth. Sandymount is on the move."

The little rap opened a farewell assembly Friday afternoon, where the 501 students shared their feelings and memories about the portable classrooms that have served as their school in Westminster while their own building was being renovated and expanded.

They'll be off next week while the move is completed, and they'll be their new classrooms Nov. 9.

Since September 1991, they've endured a longer bus ride to and from their homes, a leaky roof in the fifth-grade room and cramped quarters.

But they had some nice things to say about their portable school, which one student compared to a mobile home.

Most of all, they'll miss the boardwalk, a wooden deck that surrounds and connects the portables.

"I like walking on the boardwalk, because it reminds me of Ocean City," said Justin Fairley, 9, a fourth-grader.

He didn't mind the portables much, he said, because he knew they weren't permanent. And he found some advantages over the old school building.

"There are five places to go to the bathroom, so we don't have to wait as much to use them. The best part is there is air-conditioning and also heating," Justin said.

A few adults chuckled as Justin read that line from his essay.

"We came from an un-air-conditioned building," explained one of his teachers, Pat Poprycz.

Justin and the other students might miss the annex, but their principal, Helen "Anita" Metz, said she will not: "Not for a minute."

The portable classrooms are misnamed. They are prefabricated, but set onto concrete foundations and have plumbing and heating.

The complex of modules is next to an old school building on North Center Street. That building provided a gymnasium, dining hall and offices.

Mrs. Metz was hard-pressed to come up with a favorite feature of the new building.

"I love it all," she said. "We have a media center that is phenomenal." The media center, which includes the library, is in the space that used to be the gymnasium.

A group of parents who attended the assembly said they are glad their children won't have to travel as far to school.

"They started later and got home later," said Sue Scull of Sandymount Road, who has two children at the school. They usually arrived home at about 4:20 p.m.

After the assembly, Mrs. Metz waved to one of the last few students to file out of the gym. "See you at the new school -- I'll give you a hug there," she said.

On Friday, the school will have an open house for students, parents and staff from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students must be with parents.

On Nov. 19, sixth-graders who graduated from Sandymount last spring, before the new building was done, will be invited for a "homecoming" open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. They also must be accompanied by a parent.

An open house for the general public will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 24.

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