KIMBERLY — Kimberly’s new elementary school could be named after the Stricker family, and have the same colors and mascot as existing campuses.
A 15-member elementary transition committee presented recommendations at a community meeting Thursday night at Kimberly Middle School.
The big item of the night: Where Kimberly elementary schoolers will attend school starting in fall 2018.
Preparing for a second elementary school to open is a huge deal in Kimberly. It will alleviate crowding at the existing school — which has about 900 students — and it’s the first time school attendance zones will be used.
The proposal: The boundary is roughly along 3700 North and the train tracks. Students in north Kimberly would go to the new school and those south of that would go to the existing Kimberly Elementary School.
The committee considered six options for new elementary school zones. The top priority: “We wanted to maintain safety of our students,” chairman Tim Funk told about 40 meeting attendees.
The school board will likely make a final decision in December.
The transition committee — which includes community members, school employees and school trustees — has met since April. It presented to recommendations about school zones, names, colors and mascots to the school board last month.
Construction of the 50,000-square-foot new elementary school — with a $10.7 million price tag — has been underway since spring. The 10-acre campus is at the corner of Polk Street West and Emerald Drive North, east of Ballards Way subdivision.
Once the new school opens, remodeling will begin on the existing elementary school.
To create new elementary school attendance zones, the committee considered factors such as the number of students divided among the two schools, parity (socioeconomic status among students), not splitting up neighborhoods, traffic and future growth.
There’s a lot of growth within Kimberly, Funk said, and “looking into the future, we expect quite a bit more growth, actually, with some of the new subdivisions being developed.”
To get feedback on school names, colors and mascots, the Kimberly School District put out two surveys and about 650 people responded.
The transition committee discussed the results extensively, Funk said. “The bottom line is we put a lot of work into this.”
A name for the new elementary school has been a talking point at nearly every committee meeting, Funk said. “It was interesting – there were really strong feelings about this issue of the school name. They’ve been rather polarized as well.”
About 47 percent of survey respondents were in favor of “Kimberly Elementary School North,” but another large group didn’t rank it among their top choices at all.
The committee also considered names with a directional — such as north or south — and of people with significance to Kimberly.
The committee’s recommendation: Stricker Elementary School.
It’s a nod to the Stricker family. The historic Rock Creek Stage Station and Stricker Homesite is south of present-day Hansen.
Herman Stricker, a German emigrant, purchased the Rock Creek Store at the stage stop in 1877 along the old Oregon Trail.
On the Kimberly School District’s survey, Stricker Elementary received the strongest level of support across the board.
The recommendation is to keep the existing name of the current Kimberly Elementary School.
For school colors and a mascot, the majority of survey respondents said they wanted the same mascot (Bulldogs) and colors (red, white and black) for both elementary schools.
All three existing Kimberly schools share the same colors and mascot.
Meeting attendees asked questions about topics such as busing, where special education services will be housed and about renovating the existing elementary school.
They didn’t publicly express opinions about the recommendations, but were asked to fill out a four-question survey at the end of the meeting.
And there’s still time to weigh in before a final decision is made.