new school bolinger road

The new Belgrade elementary school on Bolinger Road is closer to having a name.

Belgrade’s new elementary school soon will be named for one of the significant geographical features in its viewshed.

Lori Degenhart, principal of the new school, reported the unanimous recommendations of the naming committee to the school board on Monday. In ranked order, they are Story Creek Elementary and Horseshoe Hills Elementary. Trustees are expected to make the final decision at their December meeting.

Degenhart said the committee solicited community suggestions and received 218 responses. From there, it narrowed down the choices to the two finalists.

“The committee really liked having something that was a geographical feature in the area to name that school after,” Degenhart said, explaining that both Story Creek and the Horseshoe Hills lie north of the school site on Bolinger Road.

A name for the new school is but one major decision officials must decide before its anticipated opening next fall. Superintendent Godfrey Saunders reported that a committee to determine the new school’s attendance boundaries has been evaluating the city’s growth projections as well as socio-economic, demographic information, and transportation considerations that will determine which areas will be best served by each of the district’s elementary schools.

While decisions directly concerning the new school’s future are being made, yet another committee has been tasked with recommending the best path for “repurposing” the Heck Quaw complex once that school is closed next fall. Saunders said the committee is evaluating the top suggestions for its future, which are:

· Alternative school

· Expanded district office/board room

· Adult education/night school/summer school

· Recreation center/community hall

· Head Start/preschool/child care center

· Heck Quaw kindergarten school

· Demolition

Saunders said the committee will narrow down the possibilities to three to five finalists, then present those ideas to the community for discussion.

Engineer Bryan Tate reported that construction of the new school is proceeding slightly ahead of schedule, and that paving of Bolinger Road to the school site is nearly finished.