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Forum News Service, Published June 17 2013

Grand Forks to begin school naming process

GRAND FORKS - A new school is expected to open in Grand Forks’ south end in 2015, and along with a new school comes a new name.

School district officials said they don’t have a formal process for naming new schools and haven’t decided how they’ll name the new elementary school. The School Board agreed last week to spend $762,000 to buy land for the school and has hired an architect.

Naming schools is a rare event.

The last time the district named a school was in 1998, when it had to replace three schools lost to the 1997 flood with two new schools.

The School Board named the schools, but took its cue from a poll of students and their parents. Submitted names were screened by a committee at each of the three schools, South Middle School and Belmont and Lincoln elementary schools.

Poll participants overwhelmingly favored keeping the “South” name for the middle school, and most favored “Phoenix” for the elementary school. Lincoln students pushed for the latter because a phoenix is a mythical bird that comes back to life after being burned to ashes in a funeral pyre.

Other favorite proposed names for the elementary school were “Alexander Griggs,” the city’s founder, and “Friendship” and “New Hope.”

Other than those schools, the district hadn’t opened a new school since 1967 when Red River High School opened.