Top choices are in for naming on new school

Development name is top choice in poll

A artist rendering of the proposed new elementary school at Santana Ranch.

While the Hollister School District’s Board of Trustees will ultimately decide the official name and mascot of a new $51 million elementary school, Santana Elementary was the top choice among 110 participants in an online survey.

There was a tie for the mascot name between Coyotes and Lions, according to the survey results compiled by the district’s Citizens Advisory Committee and revealed at the April 23 school board meeting.

“It will be up to us to decide what the (new school) name will be,” said Hollister board president Stephen Kain. “As far as the school mascot is concerned, I think that should be left up to the people who work at the school and the kids who attend the school. But I’m only one voice.”

No board action was taken on either the naming of the school or the school mascot. Kain said that decision will come at a future meeting yet to be determined prior to its completion.

“When it comes down to it, we, as a board, must decide whether we want to name the school after someone who has contributed to Hollister School District or pick a name other than that,” Kain said. “For me personally, I’m not exactly sure how I’d vote. I’d be more inclined to pick a name where it has something to do with the surrounding area rather than an individual.”

The K-5 primary school at the Santana Ranch development is expected to be completed in January 2021. It will sit on a 12-acre parcel, purchased by the district for $5 million, off Fairview and Sunnyslope roads at 1454 Santana Ranch Drive.

While Santana Elementary was the resounding top choice (31 votes) among the 110 community members, district parents, staff and students who participated in the online survey, Fairview Elementary (17 votes) and Cindy Lubke Elementary (12 votes) rounded out the top three school names. Other selections were Erma A. Pivetti Elementary, Hollister Hills Elementary, Julian Flores Elementary, Pinnacles Elementary, William Welles Elementary and Cesar Chavez Elementary.

The online survey was available on the district website throughout the month of March. The Citizens Advisory Committee was comprised of former school board members Patricia Moore and Judi Johnson; teachers Cheryle Rio and Carol Gomez; retired HSD employee Ceci Rodriguez; principal Monique Ruiz; and Santana Ranch residents Bob Connolly and Alisa Collins. They met on March 14 and April 9 to review the survey results and present top choices to the board.

“We got input from everywhere: students, parents, staff and residents,” said Kain. “I was surprised to see that much interest in the naming.”

As for the school mascot choices, after front-runners Coyotes and Lions (nine votes each), Condors received seven votes; Falcons got six votes; and Eagles, Hawks, Mustangs, Stallions, Owls and Wildcats got four votes apiece. Two votes each went to Badgers Bluejays, Bobcats, Foxes, Snakes and Tigers, according to the survey results.

The new school has five different funding sources, including two bonds ($36.2 million from Measure V and $3.4 million worth of Measure M) and nearly $10 million in developer fees.

When completed, the new site will be the ninth elementary school (12th primary school program) in the district’s cache of schools. The Hollister district serves about 5,500 students.

The new site plans include four two-story buildings, with a pickup/dropoff area on Santana Ranch Drive and a fire lane dividing the academic buildings and common areas from the athletic fields and basketball courts.

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