By Curt Yeomans
Construction is nearing completion on Clayton County's ninth high school, and officials want residents to help name it.
The school, which is located behind Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, needs a name before its scheduled opening in August. It is being built on 155 acres of land purchased in 2006.
Residents have until Feb. 19 to submit potential names.
Clayton County's Board of Education will decide which submission will become the school's name, said district spokesman Charles White.
"It [the naming process] provides the public an opportunity to take some ownership of the school by allowing them to have a role in the process of giving this building an identity," said White. "You don't build a new high school very often."
The two-story, 297,918-square-foot facility will have 100 classrooms, and a capacity for 1,850 students. Its windows will be larger than usual to allow more natural light into the building. The building will be separated into five wings, one for each grade level, and another for extracurricular classes, such as band, orchestra and chorus.
The school will be located next to the site of the district's third football stadium, which is also under construction. Eventually, an elementary school and a middle school will be built nearby.
The district will spend an estimated $54.2 million to build the high school and the football stadium.
"Right now, I would say the high school is about 65 percent complete," Klaus Darnall, the school system's architect, said Thursday. He said crews are adding finishing touches to the ninth-grade wing, such as paint, floor tiles, and ceiling tiles.
"All of the equipment has to be installed in the building, there is still some concrete work going on, and the glazing [window system] has to be installed," Darnall said.
The last time Clayton County opened a new high school was 2002, when Mundy's Mill High School opened its doors.
The naming for all Clayton County school facilities has to comply with a board policy requiring that a high school must be named after the community it serves. The reason for the policy is to keep the newer schools in line with the historical precedent set by the first eight high schools.
The school board's naming policy also states:
· A new school cannot duplicate "in whole, or in part, the last name of an existing Clayton County school."
·The submission of names must be in writing and include the name and address of the person making the recommendation.
·Only Clayton County residents and organizations are allowed to make submissions.
·Reasons are to be given for the name submitted.
·No wing of the school can be given its own name.
Submissions must be sent to Kristi Teague, the administrative assistant to Chief Operations Officer Joseph Jones, at the operations office, 7860 North McDonough St., Jonesboro. For more information, contact Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the net:
Clayton County Public Schools: http://www.clayton.k12.ga.us/