The Bismarck School Board has approved names for the district's two new elementary schools.
Bismarck Public Schools is building the schools in the Elk Ridge addition west of Horizon Middle School and in the Silver Ranch addition east of Sunrise Elementary, to address rising enrollment in the district. The northwest elementary school will be called Elk Ridge, and the northeast school will be Silver Ranch.
The district accepted name submissions from the community and then presented options to the board. Both names were popular submissions, with 117 submissions for Elk Ridge and 88 for Silver Ranch.
Other names submitted for the board to choose from were Meadowlark, Heritage and Freedom for the northeast site and Mato-Tope, Meadowlark, Sakakawea, Heritage and Valley View for the northwest school. Some less-serious suggestions such as Flavortown -- an apparent reference to celebrity chef Guy Fieri -- did not make the cut.
The names are the same as the neighborhoods where the schools are located, something the board members discussed Monday night.
"A neighborhood really isn't a neighborhood until it has a school," Board President Karl Lembke said. "That's how we've always tried to build that up."
The schools are under construction and are expected to be open for the 2022-23 school year with capacity for 535 students each. The board approved new elementary school boundaries in March to accommodate the new buildings. They will take effect when the schools open.
It will cost about $18.7 million to build the Silver Ranch school and about $17.6 million for Elk Ridge. The district can afford to build the schools without increasing the mill levy, Business Manager Darin Scherr has said.
Reach Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.