Process for picking names, mascots, colors for new Bluffton school underway

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comMarch 18, 2014 

Beaufort County Board of Education members met with parents and educators from School Improvement Councils around the county at a board meeting March 18, 2014.

STAFF PHOTO

The new Bluffton elementary school now generally known as the "Davis Road school" will soon have a real name.

A committee to name the pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school and decide on its mascot and colors was created at Tuesday night's school board meeting. Board members Evva Anderson and Paul Roth, who serve the areas of Bluffton where the school will be located, will co-chair the committee.

The committee also will have two additional members from the school board and other members from area School Improvement Councils, the community and possibly students.

Once the other members are selected, the group will compile a list of possible names, mascots and colors to present to the board.

"We are getting ready to break ground on the elementary school, so we would like to start the naming process" board chair Bill Evans said.

"As soon as the two chairs can get together and start organizing something, I'm sure we will have a lot of interest from the community," he said.

According to the district's naming policy, the school cannot be named after an individual. Instead, the name should reflect the community, culture, geography or history of the area the school is in.

The naming committee plans to bring suggestions to the full board for final selection and approval by the end of the current school year.

"I think deciding the name and mascot will create some ownership of the school and get families excited about it prior to opening," Anderson said.

The school will be located near the intersection of Bluffton Parkway and S.C. 170. Under proposed attendance zones, it will serve students from neighborhoods including Woodbridge, Sandy Pointe, Baynard Park, Hampton Lake and The Willows.

The contractor for the school, Sumter-based Thompson Turner Construction, is expected to break ground in May so the school can open in August 2015.

The district and board will begin a similar process for the new high school -- to be built in the New Riverside area and opened during the 2015-16 school year -- in the fall, Evans said.

Before beginning that process, the board also wants to make clear whether there will be two separate high schools, Evans said.

Many Blufftonians have asked the board to keep one Bluffton High School, split between two campuses.

However, Evans said he believes the board decided to have two independent schools when it approved the construction in October.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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