Five new Wake County schools will likely be named after roads and historic communities, as school leaders navigate the potential pitfalls of what to call the campuses.
On Wednesday, the school board’s facilities committee recommended names such as Poole Road and Apex Friendship while rejecting options that referenced large subdivisions or might have religious connotations. Under school board policy, schools can be named after individuals or in accordance with geographic location, such as roads, streets, natural sites or historical features.
The recommended names are:
▪ Poole Road Elementary for a school at 6120 Poole Road in Raleigh. The other choices were Briarhopper and Riverview.
▪ Hortons Creek Elementary for a school at 2374 Yates Store Road in Cary. The other options were Amberly and O’Kelly Chapel. The school can be reached from O’Kelly Chapel Road or Hortons Creek Road.
▪ Pleasant Grove Elementary for a school at 5751 Comstock Road in Cary. The other choices were Comstock and Brier Ridge. The school is off Pleasant Grove Church Road.
▪ Rogers Lane Elementary for a school at 201 E. Rogers Lane in Raleigh. The other options were Anderson Point and Crabtree Creek.
▪ Apex Friendship Middle for a school at 7901 Humie Olive Road in Apex. The other choices were Beaver Creek and Humie Olive Road. The school is near Apex Friendship High School, which is named for the historic Friendship community.
Some of the options drew concerns, with the result of Hortons Creek being recommended over Amberly or O’Kelly Chapel.
“I would prefer not having chapel in the names of our schools,” said school board member Jim Martin. “It’s just because that could bring up some things that people don’t like. I like Hortons Creek when I can see the Dr. Seuss mascot.”
Amberly had been proposed by staff because the new Cary school is by the 5,000-home subdivision of the same name.
“I hope we never name something Amberly,” school board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said. “Not because it’s not a lovely name for a blissful neighborhood, but because we can’t have the expectation of everyone (in Amberly) going to that one school.”
Some options had unusual histories. For instance, one option came from the Briarhopper community around a Raleigh school, derived from the Briarhoppers traditional country band that often played there.
The full board will review the recommendations next week with an official vote July 21.