New school in north Suffolk will be called Creekside Elementary

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

As construction nears an end on the $45 million King’s Fork High School, the Suffolk School Board is in the planning stages of erecting another elementary school in the city’s northern pocket.

Members voted 4-3 at last week’s meeting to name the new 800-pupil school Creekside Elementary, which will sit at Shoulder’s Hill and Bennett’s Creek roads. An advisory committee made Creekside its top choice, with Bennett’s Creek and Shoulder’s Hill Elementary as the second and third pick.

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Board members who oppose the name include Sharon Harris, John R. Riddick, and chairman Lorraine B. Skeeter. Superintendent Dr. Milton R. Liverman felt Shoulder’s Hill Elementary would continue the city’s historical trend of tying school names to communities and locations.

&uot;We’ve had a pattern of naming schools so they connect geographically and historically with the community,&uot; Liverman told the board. Liverman proposed Shoulder’s Hill (Road) Elementary, in part, because &uot;it draws attention to the area.&uot; He added that Bennett’s Creek is a bit &uot;overworked…and a lot of things are connected&uot; to it.

In the end, Creekside Elementary prevailed. But for Riddick, &uot;Creekside doesn’t make any sense to me,&uot; he insisted. &uot;Are we talking about a creek or a swamp?&uot;

The school will open September 2006.

At a work session prior to last week’s meeting, the board looked at proposed designs for the new elementary school. The architectural firm of Rodriguez, Ripley, Maddux and Motley presented PowerPoint slide after slide, which showcased numerous design variations, one and two-level layouts.

Liverman and the board, however, favor keeping things on one floor, even though two levels provide for more architectural creativity. &uot;I don’t think we’re ready to go to that until space forces us to,&uot; said Liverman.

Increased square footage associated with two levels is largely attributed to stairs and elevators. While two levels opens the door for &uot;more dramatic things with lighting,&uot; Liverman said, one floor provides sufficient natural light, considering that all the classrooms will have exterior walls.

A design committee has been formed, consisting of administrative staff and teachers. The board also suggested the appointment of at least two members to provide input.