Seeking a Name for South Pointe – Pembina Trails asking for Community Input in Naming New School
As the opening date of fall 2016 approaches, Pembina Trails School Division is asking the community for help in naming the new school in South Pointe.
Chaired by Tim Johnson, chair of the Pembina Trails school board, a naming committee is seeking a creative and historically significant name to give the new 800-student facility at 615 Kirkbridge Dr.
“We’re very excited,” Pembina Trails superintendent Ted Fransen said. “This is our first new school in 17 years, so excitement is growing and we’re very pleased that we’re in a position to get feedback from the community because we want to connect the name of the school to the community.”
The school division is soliciting names from the community based on four criteria:
• The name of the street on which the school faces;
• The historical or current name of the district or community in which the school is located;
• A name symbolic of the unique program focus of the school in the case of specialized or alternative schools; or
• The name of a renowned person of historical significance to the Pembina Trails community, or whose contribution to society is recognized and valued.
The school division will be accepting suggestions until the end of March and is encouraging those outside of the South Pointe area but within Pembina Trails to participate.
“We’re hoping to hear from a wide variety of people from our school division, it’s not restricted simply to one area,” Fransen said.
According to the City of Winnipeg’s website, the South Pointe development, located south of Bishop Grandin Boulevard and east of Waverley Street, will have 11,000 new houses, apartments and complexes once complete. Before development began, the land was primarily used for agriculture purposes and was sparsely populated.
Kathy Stokes, acting president of the Fort Garry Historical Society and a longtime resident, said the area’s rich agricultural history should be considered in naming the school.
“It was an area that was not heavily populated because it was farmland, “she explained. “So it wasn’t 15 or 20 streets clustered together. And if you go farther north and west into what was Fort Garry there was a large settlement of Belgian immigrants in the 1920s, maybe a little earlier, and they were often dairy farmers.”
The Historical Society is also encouraging community members to get creative when coming up with names.
“So many schools are just named for the streets that they’re built on,” Stokes said. “We think that can be improved upon and it can be a little bit more exciting than just naming it for the street it’s on.”
“There are a many people that deserve an honour for the work they have done in education and in other parts of the life of the area.”
Other school names in the Pembina Trails School Division include: École Viscount Alexander, named after British war hero Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander; Vincent Massey Collegiate, named after Canada’s first Canadian-born Governor General; and Ralph Maybank School, named after a Canadian politician and judge.
For those who want to suggest a name, Fransen says getting acquainted with the area’s history is the best place to start.
“I think you can see from our policy, that it is steeped in history,” Fransen said. “So if people are looking for a way to get a hook into this process and something that would appeal to the board, the board will follow the policy and therefore will have a significant connection with the history of the area or the history of the school division.”
Suggestions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the school division’s office: Administration Office, 181 Henlow Bay, Winnipeg, Man., R3Y 1M7.
The Sou’Wester – February 17, 2015