Set to open in August, trustees on May 18 chose Bear Creek Elementary out of a pool of three finalists, which also included Barbara Beyer Elementary and Lady Bird Elementary as options.
Trusteee Yasmin Wagner—who made the motion and represents Southwest Austin—said that the name will point to the natural environment that surrounds the new school. The school's different classroom wings are already named after animals, and animal footprints are stamped into the floors around campus, she said.
Bear Creek, which runs through a small canyon a half mile south of the campus, can be seen from classroom windows and is a feature students will be able to see every day, Wagner said.
"[The school] truly has one of the most spectacular views in Austin, looking out to the south [to] the Hill Country and the county line of Travis County and Hays County," she said.
Wagner said she saw overwhelming support for Bear Creek from the task force and the community within the school's attendance area. However, she also said she appreciated the community involvement in the naming process and the suggestions submitted.
"There were some very worthy and deserving individuals whose names were submitted, including Mrs. Barbara Beyer, who was a former teacher who was lost to us way too young and taught for many years at Oak Hill Elementary. I would be remiss if I didn't note her contributions and thank her family for making sure that we are aware and know her, and that her legacy continues to live on," she said
The new southwest elementary school is under construction at the corner of Trissino Drive and Escarpment Boulevard in the Avana neighborhood. The $36.3 million school was funded through the district’s 2017 bond program and is scheduled to open for classes in August.