History of Hamilton Elementary School
In 1922, the land for Hamilton Elementary School (11.43 acres) was purchased from A.B.C. Whitaker and Howard Rogers and the first school building was built. It was constructed of stucco finished wood and had four classrooms. Coats were hung in the hall and the bathrooms were located in the basement. Two of the classrooms were joined with folding doors that were opened to provide auditorium space. One of the rooms had a raised stage. The other had a chimney in the corner and was located directly over the coal cellar and furnace.
Hamilton's first attempt at a hot lunch program came in 1943. Due to the efforts of loyal patrons, the basement of the school was improved, painted and furnished so that a "very acceptable" cafeteria could be in full operation. Parents brought in hot soup or hot chocolate to supplement packed lunches. Aunt Betty Mitchell prepared hot lunches for the students. The four classroom teachers were responsible for preparing monthly menus.
In 1951, the classroom folding doors were removed and a permanent wall and coat closets were built. The hall coatroom space was taken out to provide a more spacious hall with bulletin boards. The fourth classroom was converted into an office and a combination clinic/teachers' room. A section of the 1951 building was an auditorium. It stands today. Beside it was built a modern first grade room with a tile floor and two bathrooms. By this time, other bathrooms in the school had been modernized and relocated on the main floor.
In the early fifties, student enrollment greatly increased. By the fall of 1953, one classroom contained two grades with a total of forty-nine (49) students. A fifth teacher was employed and the combination clinic/teachers' room was converted into a classroom. It was much smaller than the other existing classrooms. Mrs. Mary Stowers managed the cafeteria. She received government surplus commodities and funding to help with the cafeteria budget. In 1955, milk was sold in the cafeteria for the first time.
With the approval of a bond issue in 1963, five acres of adjoining land was purchased from Alice Schooley. Woods were cleared and most of the original four-room structure was leveled and a new Hamilton Elementary School was built. The auditorium remained intact, and the first grade classroom beside it became the kitchen. The auditorium is now the cafeteria.
In the fall of 1964, Hamilton Elementary opened with six classrooms in use. Today, this section of classrooms is referred to as "the old wing". The following fall, the conference room next to the office was converted into a library. Later in 1965, the library was relocated in the corridor to the rear of the stage.
In 1973, Colleen Wilmoth came to Hamilton Elementary as the school's secretary. In 1975, Kindergarten was added in all of Loudoun County's elementary schools. Six classrooms, two of which were furnished for kindergarten students, expanded Hamilton. A removable wall was placed between each pair of new classrooms. A special fenced play area for kindergarten students was constructed. A library with an office, storage room and resource room was also built at this time.
During the 1981-82 school year, a combination soccer/baseball field was constructed at a cost of $28,300. It was funded by a Park Bond Referendum and planned for by the County's Department of Parks and Recreation. At that time the building's square footage was 27,863 feet and both oil and electric heat were used.
During the 2002-2003 school year, Phase 1 of a major renovation and expansion of Hamilton Elementary was begun. Within a 45 day span the much of the interior of the existing structure was gutted to allow for the following: replacement of the HVAC, electrical and lighting systems; replacement of moveable interior walls with masonry walls, replacement of exterior walls on the east wing, and replacement of all windows. Classroom bathrooms were removed to create additional space within classrooms. The computer lab was renovated and all computer equipment replaced. In February 2004, the multipurpose room/gymnasium was completed and an Open House Ceremony was held on March 31, 2004.
Phase II of the renovation project took place during the summer of 2004 with the removal of the stage in the cafeteria and conversion of this space to three resource rooms. New HVAC, electrical and lighting systems were installed in the north wing of the facility where the kitchen, cafeteria and resource rooms are located. This project was completed in the summer of 2004.
Also during 2003-2004, the Hamilton PTA sponsored an Art Tile Project. A committee of parents chaired by Monica Deaver and Amy Miller in concert with the art teacher, Cheryl McGrath oversaw the planning and execution of this project. All students in kindergarten through fifth grades participated. Fourth and fifth grade students took photographs of buildings that were representative of different types of architecture seen in the Town of Hamilton. Drawings were sketched of the different buildings and students selected those to create in tile. The tile mural was installed in the front hall of Hamilton Elementary in August 2004 by Weller Tile of Ashburn, VA.