LOS BANOS — The naming committee for Los Banos' newest elementary school is asking for suggestions from the public.
The eight-member panel met for the first time last week and came up with about a dozen suggestions for the school's moniker, but decided more options were needed.
"We're seeking community input," said committee member Diana Ingram. "We had people who said they would like to see what the public had to say. We were encouraged to talk to the public."
The Los Banos Unified School District has purchased the former Merced College, Los Banos Campus, in the 16000 block of Mercey Springs Road to assist with its overcrowding problem. The district will keep one building on the campus that was previously used as a preschool, but it will demolish or sell the other structures and replace them with pre-fabricated classrooms made off site.
Paula Mastrangelo, area administrator for elementary education, said when the naming group met Aug. 30, she reviewed the guidelines of what types of names can and cannot be considered.
One of the names suggested that doesn't fit the criteria is Pacheco Elementary School. The name was deemed too similar to Pacheco High School.
Ingram said her suggestion is to call the kindergarten through sixth-grade facility Mercey Springs Elementary School. Mastrangelo said two committee members have been asked to look into that name for clarification of spelling. She said the street has been spelled two ways: Mercey Springs Road and Mercy Springs Road.
Los Banos Unified School District naming guidelines, among other criteria, include allowing schools to be named after national or local figures who have contributed to society or education, or naming a school after something of local historic significance
D.J. Barcellos, a committee member who was unable to attend the first meeting, said she sent in the name of someone of local prominence. Barcellos declined to state for whom she'd like the school named.
The campus will open in the 2013-14 school year to help alleviate overcrowding. This year, the district has a record-high 9,731 students.
To suggest school names, call (209) 826-3801, ext. 1008, or send an email to richavez@losbanosusd. k12.ca.us.