As the San Marcos CISD board of trustees gears up to revise the school naming policy and create a school naming committee, the developer donating land for the district’s new elementary school says it wants to be part of the selection process.
The new elementary school—paid for by 2016 voter-approved bonds—will be built on the site of the new Trace development, located near Posey Road and I-35, that will include 996 single-family and 850 multifamily homes once fully complete.
Karen Griffith, the school district’s assistant superintendent for business and support services, said during a special board meeting Monday that HighPointe Communities, the developer for Trace, had expressed a desire to be involved in the naming process.
Caren Williams-Murch, vice president of the Austin division for HighPointe Communities, confirmed that desire on a phone call Monday.
Trace donated about 12 acres for SMCISD to use for its newest elementary school, which is slated to break ground sometime in 2018.
“This is going into their subdivision and they would like to be a part of that, or have some say-so on that,” Griffith told trustees Monday.
“I just have a problem because if they wanted to be part of [the school’s naming], that should’ve been put on the table a long time ago,” Trustee Lupe Costilla said. “It’s very misleading.”
Board President Clementine Cantu has been tasked with selecting three trustees who will examine and revise, if necessary, the district’s school naming policy.
Trustees will then adopt the revised policy and nominate individuals to serve on the school naming committee.
Current guidelines for naming a facility state that a facility can be named after:
- someone who has served the district or community,
- any local, state or national heroic figure, or
- any local, state or national geographic area.
A person or corporation whose name is considered must have made a significant contribution to society and/or education, and the name should lend prestige and status to the institution of learning, according to the policy.
District facilities can also be named through sponsorships if approved by the majority of the board. The district can solicit sponsorships to be granted naming rights based on evaluation criteria reviewed and approved by the board, according to the policy. The district would receive a fee or consideration in exchange for granting an organization naming rights.
The school board will make the final decision on the school’s name.
Trustee Miguel Arrendondo also suggested the committee look at the renaming of current campuses.
“Just given what’s going on in recent history and in long-term history with the naming, the namesakes of certain campuses have been called into question and if a committee exists to have this conversation today, I’d rather have a policy on the books in case any issue comes forward in the future rather than wait until it becomes an issue,” he said.