The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board approved new names for the baseball stadium and track at North Forsyth High School on Tuesday, but chose to table action on naming the new middle school on Robinhood Road.
That decision was based on a board member’s concern that suggestions collected from the public did not appear to include any names of persons in the community who’ve made meaningful contributions to education.
Vic Johnson, the longtime serving member for District 1, expressed that concern during the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting shortly before the regular board meeting. The committee was discussing what name to approve for the new school, which was included in the 2016 bond package.
The district had solicited responses and suggestions from the public, with the most common suggestion being Lewisville Vienna Middle School. The second most common was Lewisville Middle School.
The district advertised online and in the Winston-Salem Journal from Oct. 5-14 that it was taking name suggestions, and for a public hearing, which was held Oct. 23 during a regularly scheduled board meeting. No one signed up to speak.
The board agreed to hold off on naming the new school until the next Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting on Nov. 27.
Superintendent Beverly Emory suggested setting up a survey for the board members to send in suggestions, and said she and staff would come back on Nov. 27 with more information about suggestions for the board to decide on.
The new middle school is projected to cost nearly $27 million.
For the stadium at North Forsyth, the board voted to name it Gene Bowles Memorial Stadium.
Bowles was a student-athlete at North Forsyth where he played football and baseball, and wrestled, as well, according to information from the school district. He played football at Western Carolina University, then came back to North Forsyth to teach and coach for 32 years.
And for the track at North Forsyth, the board approved naming it Scott Brent Track, in honor of a former coach and teacher.
Brent coached indoor and outdoor track, as well as cross country for more than 40 years. He is retired, but still helps with equipment set-up and maintenance of the cross country trail.