Community input sought in naming of new EBR Parish elementary school
BATON ROUGE - In the last twelve months, increased emphasis has been placed on the social relevance of names that have been assigned to major companies, brands, sports teams, and educational institutions.
In June of 2020, for example, a Baton Rouge-based high school called, "Lee High," in honor of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was renamed "Liberty High."
The name change was requested in hopes of initiating a cultural shift that would veer away from the tradition of honoring historical figures who either owned slaves or appeared to promote racist rhetoric.
Nearly ten months later, as Baton Rouge looks forward to the construction of a new elementary school, local educational leaders are turning to the public for input on an appropriate name for the institution.
Two schools, University Terrace and Buchannan Elementary, will be torn down to create a new combined elementary school. Though both buildings will be demolished, only University Terrace will be rebuilt.
The Buchanan property will be added to neighboring McKinley High, which is in line for a $35 million remodeling starting in 2023.
The new $25.2 million University Terrace is scheduled to be completed by fall 2022, according to The Advocate.
Approval for the construction of the school was awarded three years ago and during a recent interview with WBRZ, East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Mike Gaudet explained the reasoning behind the Board's decision to create a new school.
Gaudet said, "This was part of the tax plan that was passed in 2018. Buchannan Elementary is a very old elementary school. So it's really outlasted its useful life. And University Terrace is also an older school that needs a lot of refurbishment. So instead of piecemeal things, we will rebuild one, new, good elementary school and combine the two schools together, which will give us more resources."
So, while education leaders are moving forward with the construction of the much-anticipated elementary school, they have yet to officially decide on its name, and this is where the community can help.
The public is invited to share their thoughts on the new school and its name by attending a forum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 25 at McKinley High School(800 East McKinley Street).
Click here for more information on EBR Schools.
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