BECKLEY, W.Va. — A new elementary school set to open next year in Crab Orchard has been named.
The Raleigh County Board of Education voted unanimously during their Tuesday meeting to approve naming the school Ridge View Elementary. The name was part of a list composed of suggestions from students and faculty from Lester, Crab Orchard and Sophia-Soak Creek Elementary Schools. All three of those schools are consolidating into the new Ridge View Elementary located along Tank Hill Road.
Other suggestions on the committee’s list included Forest View, Mountain View, Independence, Freedom and Synergy. Ridge View and Pinnacle were chosen as the top two suggestions for the Board of Education to review.
“Given the location, the “view” names were the most popular”, said Raleigh County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Randy Adkins.
The new 14-acre campus will sit on the top of a hill off Route 16, Robert C. Byrd Drive. It overlooks a valley to the north and the Coalfields Expressway to the south.
The next step is for the same committee from the three elementary schools to select a mascot and school colors. Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Serena Starcher said the school wants a unique mascot and colors that aren’t already used by another school in Raleigh County.
Board member Larry Ford asked Starcher and Adkins if the committee had considered naming it after a person. He then jokingly suggested David Price Elementary, after the county’s superintendent.
Another board member spoke up saying he considered Bill Withers Elementary. Withers is a popular blues and soul singer born in 1938 in Slab Fork, only a few miles away from the new school’s site. Superintendent Price said they wanted to stay away from connecting the school to a person.
Construction on Ridge View Elementary will be completed next August, just in time for the 2018-2019 school year.