Lancaster County’s newest elementary school, scheduled to open its doors in August has been named for the area’s newest town – Van Wyck Elementary.
During a regularly scheduled Lancaster County School District board meeting on Tuesday, board members approved the naming committee’s recommendations for the new school’s name, colors and mascot. School district residents had an opportunity to provide input into the new school’s name and identity.
“The name designation of Van Wyck Elementary has historical relevance to District 1 that I represent,”school board member Melvin Stroble said.
“Years ago, prior to the new school, there was a Van Wyck Elementary that was flourishing. Over the years the students were transferred over into Indian Land Elementary and (Van Wyck Elementary) was torn down. So that community has a rich history of supporting public schools.”
More than 300 people responded to the district's online survey seeking suggestions for a name. Some of the popular suggestions were Andrew Jackson Elementary, Catawba Creek Elementary, Charles Duke Elementary, Creekside Elementary, Osceola Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Walnut Creek, 521 Elementary and Wyck Creek Elementary.
According to the naming committee’s proposal, the Van Wyck school was built in 1924 and served the community until it closed in the 1950s. It was located on the same property where the Van Wyck Community Building stands today. The early Van Wyck school also served as a temporary hub for all students in the Indian Land area when the Indian Land school burned down.
Van Wyck residents voted to incorporate last summer and formed the area’s newest town after electing their first town council in the fall. Town councilman Xavier Kee served on the naming committee. He said he’s glad the school will be named after the newly formed town and its long-standing community.
Voters approved financing for the new school and other capital projects totaling $199 million in a referendum held nearly a year ago.
“I'm proud to say that we now have a school in the town,” Kee said. “The name of the school represents the location that the school is being built. And I really couldn't think of another name that would be great for the school.”
The committee chose the Braves nickname and the colors blue, gold and white to promote a continuity of school spirit across the northern part of Lancaster County.
Stroble said this is another opportunity to show pride and support in the Indian Land and Van Wyck communities for their schools.
“All of our community residents have the same support and concerns for schools,” he said.
“The citizens are concerned about quality education, concerned about classroom size and about the growing population – the growth of Indian Land and its impact on our schools. That’s why we work as a community as a whole to resolve in a united way.”
Stephanie Jadrnicek: firstname.lastname@example.org