Committee selects name of new middle school

Rene Shadforth

After throwing out names like Yellow Jacket Middle School, George Donner Middle School, and the more cynical Money Pit Middle School, a committee chose Alder Creek Middle School as the preferred name for the new sixth-through-eighth grade campus being built on Alder Drive and Highway 89 north.Over the past month, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District held a contest with a $200 cash prize, asking the public to name the new school. The district’s facilities and construction department received more than 60 nominations from students, parents and interested community members through write-in and online entries.”It was a bond election that enabled the school to be built in the first place,” said Sierra Mountain Middle School Principal Don Beno. “We thought it would be appropriate to ask the public what they thought the name should be.”The criteria established for the contest were the name must include the words “middle school” and be based on a local place, geographic feature or person. Three of the companies working on the project, Clark & Sullivan Constructors, Al Pombo Inc. and Regent Developers, provided the prize money and advertising for the contest.The prize money will split among the four or five contestants who all nominated the winning name.Other titles in the top three included Truckee Middle School and Truckee River Middle School, said Michael Arrington, chair of the name selection committee.The new school hasn’t officially been titled yet – the school board tabled the action item at their Wednesday meeting, because only three members were present – but Arrington said he thought Alder Creek Middle was the best fit.John Britto, director of facilities and construction, said his department initially considered keeping “Sierra Mountain Middle School” as the name of the current site’s replacement campus.”We thought there would be savings, in things like stationary and uniforms, if we kept the name,” he said. “Then someone in the public suggested that it would be a good idea to let the community name the school.”The $30 million new middle school will be an 87,000 square-foot building with seven portables. District officials expect the construction will be complete by August 2004.

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