Wake Ed

Wake County school board names new high school in Fuquay-Varina

The Wake County school board approved the name Tuesday for a new high school in Fuquay-Varina but postponed a decision on naming a new elementary school in Holly Springs.

Kennebec Road High will be the name for the school that will be built off Kennebec and Old Honeycutt roads in Fuquay-Varina. But the board referred back to its facility committee the issue of what to name a new elementary school that will be built off Cass Holt and Avent Ferry roads in Holly Springs.

Last week, the facilities committee had recommended using Honeycutt Road Elementary as the school name. Just as with Kennebec Road, the committee backed naming both schools after the road on which people would use to enter the campus.

“There was no consensus with going ahead with the name at this time,” school board Chairman Tom Benton said Tuesday of the Honeycutt Road option.

Benton said there’s no interest in naming the school after any person, which is permitted under school board policy. But Wake still names schools based on roads, geographic features and historic communities.

Staff had come up with four choices for the Holly Springs school. The other three were:

▪ Buckhorn Creek Elementary because of the site’s proximity to Buckhorn Creek, which is the nearest notable geographic or natural feature;

▪ Thomas Mill Elementary because of the site’s proximity to the location of the Thomas Mill, which was historically located along Buckhorn Creek;

▪ Wilbon Elementary because of the site’s proximity to the Wilbon community, which has been historically identified as centered upon at the intersection of Piney Grove Wilbon Road and Wilbon Road.

Last week, some board members had supported using Buckhorn Creek, saying there might be confusion using Honeycutt Road considering that Kennebec Road High is off Old Honeycutt Road. In addition, Wake plans to build an elementary school by Kennebec Road High that’s also by Old Honeycutt Road.

But other board members said there would not be confusion between the two schools if Honeycutt is used.

There were no questions Tuesday about using Kennebec Road, which was approved on the consent agenda without discussion. The alternatives to Kennebec Road were:

▪ Willow Spring High because the site is located near the unincorporated community of Willow Spring;

▪ Black Creek High because of the site’s proximity to Black Creek, which is the nearest notable geographic or natural feature;

▪ Lakeview High because of the site’s close proximity to three lakes or ponds nearby, including Partin’s Pond.

Some board members had expressed interest in using Willow Spring, but administrators said there might be confusion because the high school isn’t on the same campus as Willow Springs Elementary School. Administrators also said that residents who had attended a community meeting had expressed support for using Kennebec Road in the name.

But at Tuesday’s Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners meeting, which took place at the same time as the school board meeting, mayor pro tem Blake Massengill suggested that the town provide the school board with a formal name recommendation.

Massengill, who learned Wednesday morning that Kennebec Road High had been chosen over Willow Spring, said the town would still send its recommendation to the school system.

“I would like to see the town board have the opportunity to suggest a name that best represents the community before an absolute final decision is made,” he said.

Staff writer Henry Gargan contributed.