Wake Ed

Wake County changes name of new Fuquay-Varina high school

The Wake County school board changed the name Tuesday for a future high school in Fuquay-Varina and approved the name for a new elementary school that will open in Holly Springs.

The school board adopted Willow Spring High as the name for the new school due to its proximity to that unincorporated community. The board had voted June 21 to name it as Kennebec Road High but reversed the decision Tuesday after Fuquay-Varina town leaders requested the name change to Willow Spring.

“I’ve always been a proponent for naming schools after historic communities and so I’m pleased that we’ve arrived at this place,” said school board member Susan Evans, who had been lobbying for the Willow Spring name. “It’s what everybody in that area seems to want and so it’s a win-win for everyone to name this Willow Spring High School.

“I’m pleased that we were able to take a step back and reconsider.”

Kennebec Road had been recommended previously because it will be used to access the school.

Staff had come up with four choices for the Fuquay-Varina school, including Kennebec Road and Willow Spring. The other two alternatives were:

▪ 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.

The board’s facilities committee, which originally backed the Kennebec Road High name, changed its recommendation to Willow Spring High last week.

There is also a Willow Springs Elementary School about two miles from the new high school. School board member Christine Kushner said that the board may want to discuss in the future reconciling the different names for the two schools.

Also on Tuesday, the board adopted Buckhorn Creek Elementary as the name for the new school in southwest Holly Springs because of its proximity to the creek.

The facilities committee previously had recommended naming it Honeycutt Road Elementary after the road that will be used to access the school. But before it came to a vote, the full board asked the committee to reconsider the recommendation.

Last week, the committee changed its recommendation to Buckhorn Creek after school district staff said the Honeycutt Road name could cause confusion. The future Willow Spring High is at 1704 Old Honeycutt Road.

The other two alternatives for the Holly Springs school name were:

▪ 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.