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Students embrace new school setting

Mills College Weekly

The legacy of Alderwood Hall as a space devoted to fostering
education for young women will continue into the twenty-first
century with next year’s opening of the Julia Morgan School for
Girls in the building.

From 1925 to 1936, Alderwood Hall, designed by El Campanil
architect Julia Morgan in 1923, was home to the Ming Quong School
for orphaned, abandoned, and homeless Chinese girls.

It later became known as the graduate hall, and until now has
been used for conference programs.

On Nov. 1 students of the Julia Morgan School along with members
of faculty and family participated in a ceremony at Alderwood Hall
to celebrate the future site of the school.

According to eighth grader Hanna Schultheis-Gerry, the current
site of the Julia Morgan School is located on the Holy Names
College campus in Oakland.

“[The school’s current location] is not permanent. They’re
renting it, but here [at Alderwood Hall] there’s a twenty-five year
lease,” Schultheis-Gerry said.

Before the Julia Morgan School commences its new residence in
Alderwood, the building will undergo renovations due to be finished
next year.

“We’re trying to raise money for a dark room and for knocking
down walls,” said eighth grader Lucia Ordonez-Gauger.

Elevators will also be installed to facilitate transportation of
mainly technical supplies and other furniture between floors.

“I’m pretty excited about the whole building,” said seventh
grader Brittany Conner, who will enter eighth grade when the school

The school will also house a spacious dance room which doubles
as an assembly hall, but the inclusion of special facilities is not
the only unique element of this junior high school.

According to Julia Morgan students, the benefits of private
single-sex education are apparent.

“People aren’t too scared to raise their hands,” eighth grader
Ariel Mazel-Gee said.

A.S.F. feels that boys in the classroom can sometimes be
disruptive and annoying.

“I think they want girls to be more focused on education and not
boys,” said Conner.

Another aspect of Julia Morgan School that stands out is the
diversity, said Mazel-Gee. She adds that about 40 percent of the
students are non-white.

Julia Morgan students also seem to be excited that their school
will be located on a women’s college campus.