Mountain View Voice

News - August 26, 2011

Girls' Middle School leaves Mountain View

'Bittersweet' move gives school room to grow in Palo Alto

by Nick Veronin

Twelve years after it first opened its doors on Rengstorff Avenue, the Girls' Middle School is moving from Mountain View to a new location in Palo Alto.

The need to expand drove the decision to move, but there are other contributing factors, said Deb Hof, head of the school.

The Girls' Middle School plans to double the size of the student body over the next couple of years, Hof said.

Last year, the school had to shutter its woodshop program after the Mountain View Fire Department informed the Girls' Middle School that the "shed" the shop was operating out of wasn't up to code.

Hof said that the move from 180 N. Rengstorff Ave. in Mountain View to 3400 W. Bayshore Road in Palo Alto will see the reinstitution of woodshop classes. Plus, a multipurpose room will allow for yet-to-be-created programs.

"The move gives us room," she said.

With the extra space, Hof plans to grow the school from its current size of about 96 students to around 192.

The new campus also has air conditioning — a feature lacking at the old campus, Hof said. On top of that, the school will no longer have to share its space with a church educational group, which used the Rengstorff Avenue building at night for its classes. Teachers always had to put everything they didn't want touched away before the church began its classes at night.

Hof said that the move, just like any move, has been 'bittersweet' for many. So to make the best of it, students and faculty took a bunch of pictures of the paintings on the walls of the old campus and made a collage to be hung in the new campus.

"Everybody is happy with the move," Hof said. "But when you leave a place where you started you always leave a few memories behind." The picture collage, she said, is meant to keep people from missing the old campus too much.

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