What’s in a name? And who will decide it for Steamboat’s new school? | SteamboatToday.com

What’s in a name? And who will decide it for Steamboat’s new school?

A preliminary design for the new pre-K through eighth-grade school on the Steamboat Springs School District land in Steamboat II. No final decisions have been made.
Courtesy graphic

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sleeping Giant School? Cow Creek? Deer Mountain? Slate Creek? Elk River?

As the process begins for finding a name for the Steamboat Springs School District’s new pre-K through eighth-grade school, a prescribed policy will be followed, according to Superintendent Brad Meeks.

Specifically, it’s policy F-24, and it begins with the school district recognizing “that the naming or renaming of school facilities is an important community issue.”

“It will be a community effort to name the school to ensure the name reflects the community’s culture and values,” said Meeks, who added the final decision will ultimately be made by the district.

The policy specifies the school must be named for a physical location or geographical area.

School board member Lara Craig volunteered to sponsor the committee that will begin the process of gathering ideas for school names and then narrowing down the list. Ultimately, they will present a final — or final few names — as a recommendation for the full board.

Craig said a few people have already committed to serve on the committee, and she is in the process of reaching out to more to form a committee of about 10 to 12 people.

Policy states the committee will consist of parents, teachers, administrators, a school board member, community members and students.

Craig said she’s looking for a “good cross section” of people and in particular, wants to include people with experience in design and historic preservation. She also would like to have someone from the city serve on the committee.

The first committee meeting, tentatively scheduled for late March, will focus on the greater community outreach piece, Craig said.

They will determine the logistics on how best to communicate parameters and receive ideas from the community.

According to the district’s policy:

  • The name should be easily identifiable.
  • The name should not be in conflict with the name of any other property in the system or in the community.
  • Schools will be named for physical locations and geographical areas.
  • Other facilities, including portions or buildings, may be named for local persons who have been outstanding in educational endeavors or who have furthered the cause for better schools and educational programs. Such persons may be living or deceased.
  • If a person has been a district employee, he or she shall not be eligible to have a district site or facility named after him or her until one year after he or she has left the employ of the district.

They will explore the naming of other elements of the new school, Craig said, like new streets and athletic fields, depending on precisely what is built.

Operating on a very tentative timeline, Craig said she anticipates the window for public submission running for a few weeks in April.

A final recommendation will go to the board around mid-May, with a vote likely in early June, according to Craig.

As the process moves forward, Craig said information about how to submit ideas will be posted on the district’s website, as well as the website specifically dedicated to the construction of the new school and bond-funded projects at other facilities.

The first public meeting about the planning and design for the new school will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1597 Lincoln Ave.

Have a brilliant idea? Leave it in the comment thread, which, while fun, will have no official bearing on what the district decides.

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

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