Adding a little Spanish flair to the naming of the new $51 million primary school, Hollister School District’s Board of Trustees decided on Rancho Santana School at its June 25 meeting.
“While it’s not exactly one of the three names that were submitted by the (Citizens Advisory Committee), technically it is a form of the first choice. It’s just the Spanish pronunciation,” Hollister board president Stephen Kain explained.
Among the 110 participants in an online survey for the school name and mascot, Santana Ranch came in first place.
The kindergarten-through-fifth grade primary school at Santana Ranch off Fairview Road just east of the Hollister city limits is expected to be completed in January 2021. It will sit on a 12-acre parcel of land, purchased by the district for $5 million, off Fairview and Sunnyslope Roads with an address of 1454 Santana Ranch Drive.
“There is a bit of controversy in it, but I feel that we picked the name that was their first choice,” Kain said.
The new school, which will be the district’s ninth elementary 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.
Santana Ranch, the same name as the new development that will feed children into the school, was the resounding top choice with 31 votes among the 110 community members, parents, staff and students who participated in the online survey. Rounding out the top three were Fairview Elementary (17 votes) and Cindy Lubke Elementary (12 votes).
“The number one pick was Santana Ranch and I personally thought it made the most sense,” Kain said. “But since we already have a school called Rancho San Justo, we agreed Rancho Santana sounded more appropriate for our school district.”
Also at the June 25 meeting, the board announced it will leave it up to the new school’s staff and students to decide the selection of the school mascot.
“The kids are going to pick the mascot, but we will have final say although we will approve whatever name they pick,” Kain said. “I personally would’ve liked them to pick both (the school and mascot names).”
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 school district employee Ceci Rodriguez; principal Monique Ruiz; 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.
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.