Bend’s new high school down to 3 possible names

Caldera, Vista or Woodlands.

Bend’s new high school will be one of those three names after a district committee of students, staff and community members whittled down a list of more than 800 suggestions.

The Bend-La Pine School Board will make the final decision at its meeting on March 10th.

Principal Chris Boyd said the school’s official colors would be a burnt orange and navy blue, adding that they’re similar to the color scheme used by the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

As for the mascot? Boyd said that’s still a work in progress but they hope to have one selected by April.

The goal of the naming process was to find something that met four criteria: Transcend cultures, unique to south/southeast Bend, conveys pride for the area and evokes emotion.

The naming committee revealed the names to the school board at its meeting Tuesday night, laying out some reasoning behind each one.

Caldera: “Reference to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the geologic past and present of our area. A Spanish word meaning caldron; a Caldera is the remnant of volcanic events and great transformations.”

Woodlands: “While the word Woodland can be used synonymously for forest, a Woodlands refers to an area of transition between ecosystems or transition zones. The new HS is being built in this transition zone in SE Bend.”

Vista: “Used both in Spanish and in English, the word Vista means a far-reaching view. From various vantage points on the new HS site, the Vistas are stunning.”

The community was invited to suggest potential names for the school last fall through an online survey. At the time, the district said the results would “not be used as a consensus gathering or decision-making tool,” rather simply to get some ideas as to what the public was thinking about the potential name. It wasn’t a “vote” for a particular name.

The most popular suggestion at the time was to name the school after Robert Maxwell, a Central Oregon war hero and Medal of Honor recipient who died last May at the age of 98. That sentiment remains strong today based on many of the comments on our Facebook post about the three finalists.

But Boyd said it never really was a consideration to name this school after Maxwell or any other significant historical figure from the area.

“Early on we made a decision as a committee – and it was really a consensus out of the committee – that we wanted to use names that are reference to a place and geology and geography over using a person’s name,” Boyd said.

The new high school is under construction at the corner of Knott Road and 15th Street in south Bend. It will be a two-story building with about 60 classrooms including several career and tech education classrooms; a 600-seat auditorium and a football stadium and other sports fields.

It’s expected to open in Fall 2021.

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