Reedsburg’s new elementary school on Reedsburg Road now has a name — Prairie Ridge Intermediate School.
The board of education unanimously approved the name at the Nov. 19 regular school board meeting on a recommendation from the Name the School Committee. Board Member LuAnn Brey made the motion and was seconded by School Board Vice President Bruce Houtler.
“I think I kind of liked the name after I looked at it,” said Gary Woolever, school board president.
The name was chosen from a list of five names submitted to the board for suggestion. Other names on the table included: Eastridge, Sunrise, Hillcrest, New Horizon and Heritage School.
The top three names in votes from the public were Eastridge, followed by Prairie Ridge and Sunrise. Current Pineview Elementary School Principal Clint Beyer said a total of 1,262 votes were submitted through a Google Docs form on the schools website through its naming contest.
Beyer, who will serve as principal of the new school, said the contest was created for the public to submit ideas for names to bring to the board. The contest began in late October with the general public submitting 262 names. The committee narrowed that list down to six which the public had a chance to vote on until Nov. 9.
The reason the committee recommended Prairie Ridge for the name was because of the surrounding location of the new elementary school, such as the surrounding prairie of the school, the sandstone bluffs, 400 State Trail and Baraboo River as well as other themes of agriculture and forestry.
“You take that, the themes of where it is actually located on the ridge it pulls, I think, those together,” Beyer said.
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Beyer said the committee also took into consideration having a general name that will “withstand the change of time” as the city continues to grow.
The 105,000 square foot building will house students in grades third through fifth starting in the 2019-2020 school year. The $23 million school is a part of the district’s $32 million referendum passed last October that includes the construction of a transportation facility at Webb Middle School and several building updates.
In his reports, Business Manager Pat Ruddy said the construction of the school is “really on target” for its 2019 completion date while the transportation facility is “moving along.” For the transportation facility, Ruddy said asphalt was put in Nov. 16 and is still waiting for finishing of the metal siding, the installation of the metal garage doors and wrapping up interior work. He said the building could be finished by Dec. 10 or at the latest Dec. 17.
In his reports, Activities Director Bryan Yager said 154 participants are out for athletics for the winter season that is set to begin Nov. 20. He said 64 students are participating in choraliers, the school’s show choir. He said the drama club was awarded the Critics Choice Award and four Best Actor and Actress Awards at its recent performance of “Tracks” at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival Nov. 15 at Virtebo University in La Crosse.
The board completed a first reading of school board policy updates. A second reading will be held at the Dec. 17 meeting.
The board went into closed session to discuss the district administrator contract for Tom Benson. When the board reconvened into open session the board approved the renewal of Benson’s contract as district administrator through 2019-2021 with an extension that includes 2021-22.