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Hyla School plans new library
"Having achieved its most ambitious fund-raising goal ever, Hyla Middle School is on the verge of breaking ground for two new buildings, an expansion project that will add 50 percent to its usable space.But the Bucklin Hill school's goal isn't to grow. It will cling to the small size that was the rationale for its founding. We are looking at building facilities we haven't had, school director Paul Carroll said. All the areas addressed in the new building have been seen as difficult areas to work around. The school will add a library, a computer room and two new classrooms in two separate buildings. They will be connected to the existing buildings by outdoor covered walkways, with the package expected to cost about $500,000.The private middle school, which will begin its eighth year this fall, has packed its 80-84 students and 13 teachers into 8,000 square feet of space. While the project will add an additional 4,000 square feet, the school will not exceed 90 students.The library and computer room are particularly acute needs, Carroll said.Right now, books are stuck in various classrooms - history books in the history classroom, and so forth. Only the teachers really know what's there. So it doesn't really function as a library, Carroll said.He said that when students have research to do, they go to the island's public library or the Seattle library, or use the Internet. But he said it's not always easy to find age-appropriate information. Many of the available books are designed for high school or adult use, or for younger children, Carroll said.We hope to have a library uniquely focused on middle school needs, he said of the planned 1,200-square-foot facility.The present computer facility is equally inadequate - four computers and two lap-tops in a portion of a classroom used for tutoring.We're planning to have 15 computer stations, he said, a number that corresponds to Hyla's maximum class size. We've really been limited in terms of effectiveness because not all the students in a class can be on the computer at the "