Name for new school narrowed down to 2 choices: Sleeping Giant versus Elk Mountain |

Name for new school narrowed down to 2 choices: Sleeping Giant versus Elk Mountain

Sleeping Giant emerged as the most popular name for the new pre-K through eighth-grade school being built on the west side of Steamboat Springs.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The committee tasked with coming up with a name for the new pre-K through eighth-grade school in West Steamboat Springs has narrowed down the options to two: Sleeping Giant or Elk Mountain School.

Steamboat Springs School Board member Lara Craig gave an update on the school naming process at last week’s board meeting, describing the process that lasted for several months and included a survey of the community.

With over 100 responses, “A few names rose to the top,” Craig said.

Sleeping Giant received the most votes, with Mary Brown coming in second, and Elk Mountain finishing in third, she said.

District policy specifies the school must be named for a physical location or geographical area. In this case, the two top names refer to the same geographical landmark, which serves as the iconic backdrop for Steamboat on the west.

Members of the naming committee described their research into the two names — finding references to Elk Mountain dating back to 1896 and a 1908 reference to Sleeping Giant.

They talked about several versions of the myth around the sleeping giant’s permanent slumber and the rattlesnakes that provide his protection.

A person’s name can be used for a component of the school, like a room or building, according to the policy.

The committee urged consideration of naming a building or a street after Mary Brown Tomasini, the former Steamboat Springs City Council president who passed away in 2018.

Brown Tomasini served on a number of boards and made many contributions to the community over her lifetime, including her role in the construction of the Yampa River Core Trail and the creation of the Boys & Girls Club in Steamboat Springs.

Ella Chapman, a Steamboat Springs High School student who was on the naming committee, urged the board to consider naming a street after greater Sandhill cranes — particularly the family of cranes that resides near the new school site. She suggested possibilities of Crane Lane or Crane Crossing.

In terms of street and road names, Craig said she is in communication with Routt County officials about that process.

The board is scheduled to vote to pick between Sleeping Giant and Elk Mountain at its June 1 meeting.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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