RSU 39 board narrows down new Caribou school name to two choices
CARIBOU, Maine — During their Dec. 5 meeting, members of the RSU 39 school board narrowed their possible names for Caribou’s new PreK-8 school to two choices — Caribou Community School or Caribou Century School.
Superintendent Tim Doak said the board’s final decision regarding the new facility’s title would be made in January of 2019. The new school is scheduled for completion in 2020.
The RSU 39 board initially took community suggestions and then tasked a naming committee with determining the three best choices. However, the board sent the committee back to work after members of both groups met in March.
At that meeting, there was some disagreement over whether the new name should include the word “Caribou” in it. Some committee members had suggested a more regional name, pointing out that the RSU serves Caribou and Stockholm and that children from other communities might eventually also attend the school. The three names brought to the board on March 21 were: Caribou Community School, Caribou Elementary School, and Eastern Aroostook Elementary School.
Of the three, Caribou Community School was the top choice and it remains one of the two finalists. Doak said during the board’s recent meeting that he wanted to wait until the outcome of Limestone’s vote to withdraw from RSU 39, which was successful, before pitching the final suggestions as that would alleviate some concerns about whether or not “Caribou” should be in the new name.
Board Chair Dr. Tanya Sleeper also clarified during the meeting that board members chose to consider another round of names in order to ensure that the new school is representative of the community and not because the board disliked the initial round of suggested names.
Doak also explained the impetus behind the name “Caribou Century School,” and said there are “two sides” to the suggested title. With the new school designed to last 100 years and include state of the art facilities, the name applies to educational opportunities of the future. However, he said the name also represents the century leading up to the point of its completion, and is a celebration of the whole community’s prior history.
When a final decision is made, Doak said signage will be placed next to the future school site on Bennett Drive.