Two of Alpine School District’s newest schools have been given names paying homage to the geography and history of their surrounding areas.
The Alpine School District Board of Education voted Tuesday evening to name a new school in Saratoga Springs Lake Mountain Middle School and to name a new elementary school that would consolidate Hillcrest and Scera Park elementary schools as Centennial Elementary School.
The name Centennial Elementary School stems from 2019 being the 100th year for Orem.
“It feels celebratory to us,” Shelley Schroeder, the consolidated school’s principal, told the school board. “It has a regal sound. It is powerful.”
The board voted in 2017 to consolidate Hillcrest and Scera Park elementary schools in Orem into a new facility that is being constructed on the current Scera Park Elementary School site, following years of dwindling enrollment at both schools. The schools are expected to consolidate into the new building in August.
Names for the new schools were solicited from the community and then narrowed down by a committee, which presented its top three options to the board of education for a vote.
Schroeder said the committee, made up of parents from both schools, dug into the history of Orem when considering the submitted names.
“There was no stone that did not go unturned by these committee members,” Schroeder said.
Students submitted names for the school’s name and mascot that included the Bumblebee Bees, SLC Burger Nachos, Lollipop Lily Lollipops, Dragon Hill Dragons and the Kitties Rule Kittens.
The school’s mascot will be a tiger and its colors will be navy blue, white and gold.
Parkview Elementary School and Scera Hills Elementary School were also names presented for the Orem school to the board, with Scera Hills Elementary School seen as a concession to the two communities. Schroeder said a hybrid name was considered, but that every time it was discussed people became emotionally charged.
“It took a good amount of our time to discuss it through a lot of tears and emotion,” Schroeder said.
Scera Park Elementary School was not considered due to the district considering the consolidated school a new school and to avoid further contention in the community.
Schroeder said there were concerns that a school in Provo shares the Centennial name and that it might be a mouthful for young students to say. The name Parkview also came with concerns that it sounded generic and that a nearby doctor’s office shares the name.
Sara Hacken, a member of the school board, said she’d prefer to wait two weeks for a vote. The board voted after Schroeder said the community has been waiting for a new name to be announced so it can heal.
Members of the board voiced support for the Centennial name.
“I loved your first choice of Centennial because to me, it sounds like you are looking to the future and you’re celebrating, and I think it’s nice to have something new for both schools to be able to move forward with the past and looking forward to the future,” said Sarah Beeson, a member of the board of education.
Other prospective names for the Saratoga Springs middle school included Desert Springs Middle School and Shoreline Middle School.
The school will open in the fall at 1058 S. Old Farm Road with the mascot of the Warriors and with the colors as either blue, orange and silver or green, blue and silver.
Ada Wilson, a member of the board of education, asked Mark Whitaker, the school’s principal, if there were concerns from the community about Lake Mountain Middle School sounding too generic.
“I think of any of the names that you pick, some will feel there is a negative element to it and some that will like it,” Whitaker said.
He said that of 600 community submissions for a name, 100 independently suggest Lake Mountain Middle School.