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Community has Opportunity for Input into New Elementary School Name

New York Road Elementary School(Revised March 14, 2014) A new 39-classroom elementary school is under construction on York Road across from the entrance to McDowell Nature Preserve. It will open to students in fall 2014 and relieve Winget Park Elementary School.

The school's Naming Committee selected six names to appear on a ballot for voting by families of its future students as well as by other members of the community. After further review, one name was replaced.

The names that will appear on the ballot are

1.   Lake Pointe
2.   McDowell
3.   Palisades
4.   Riverside
5.   Walker Branch
6.   York Road (preferred by the Steele Creek Residents Association)

Also on the ballot will be two other questions: Should the school name include the term STEM? (The school will include a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math magnet program.) And should the school name include the word "Academy" rather than be called an elementary school?

Students who will be assigned to the new school will receive ballots to take home on Tuesday, March 18 and return on Wednesday, March 19. Other members of the community can vote on Tuesday, March 18. A table will be set up inside the main entrance to Winget Park Elementary School. Ballots will be available from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Each family gets one vote. (Do not enter through the bus parking lot entrance. Enter Winget District Park and circle around to the front of the school.)

The names with the most votes from parents and community members will be presented to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board. Unless there is a controversy or conflict with another school name, the School Board should accept the name with the most votes, Once the school name is adopted, the Naming Committee will help select a mascot name and school colors.

For more information and updates, see the temporary Winget Park Relief School web site or contact Principal Gina O'Hare at gina.ohare@cms.k12.nc.us.

The school is located on York Road. This road name used to extend up Highway 49 all the way into the present central part of Charlotte. The city has renamed pieces of York Road to South Tryon Street as it has progressively annexed southwest into Steele Creek. Now only the 3.7-mile section west of Shopton Road West retains the name York Road. Many old time residents still refer to South Tryon Street as York Road.  The name York Road Elementary School would help preserve that legacy.

The name also would recall the name of the former York Road High School, which was located where Marie G. Davis school is now located.

The name York Road Elementary School is the name preferred by the Steele Creek Residents Association.

Another name suggested is McDowell Elementary School. This name recognizes the location of the school across from McDowell Nature Preserve, which is more commonly called McDowell Park. The McDowell Nature Preserve and Nature Center are major assets to the community. The McDowell family was one of the earliest families in Steele Creek. The nature preserve was named for John McDowell, who lived to the north in Steele Creek near Beam Road. He was an long-time advocate for parks in Mecklenburg County.

The name Walker Branch Elementary School would relate to the Walker Branch Greenway which runs next to RiverGate Shopping Center behind Best Buy and Pet Smart. A primitive trail, called the Walker Branch Dirtway has recently been opened south from RiverGate to Smith Road. Eventually greenway trails will be constructed along other sections of Walker Branch as part of a network of trails in Steele Creek. However, Walker Branch is closer to River Gate Elementary School than it is to the new school.

Palisades Elementary School would recognize the significance of the Palisades community, the largest development within the school's attendance area, as well as Palisades Park, a neighborhood park currently under construction adjacent to the school. Rhein Medall Communities, the developer of the Palisades, helped facilitate the acquisition of the school site and has shared in significant development costs. However, several committee members preferred that names of individual neighborhoods not be used for the school name since children from many neighborhoods will attend it.

The committee had discussed several names that related to water since the school is near Lake Wylie and the Catawba River. Two of these names were selected to appear on the ballot: Lake Pointe Elementary School and Riverside Elementary School.

New York Road Elementary School

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