District breaks ground after board bypasses several suggestions and agrees on 'new' old name
by: Jonathan House, Pam Grater and her daughter Emma, a future student at the school, check out renderings of the new Bonny Slope School Wednesday morning.

And the winner is … Bonny Slope.

That will be the name of Beaverton's 32nd elementary school, the Beaverton School Board agreed June 6.

After initial discussion that drew a less than enthusiastic response for any single frontrunner name, the board selected Bonny Slope based on its ties to history and its geographic region.

The school will be built at 11755 S.W. McDaniel Road, northeast of the intersection of McDaniel and 119th Avenue.

Beaverton's newest elementary school could well be around 75 years from now if the average lifespan of public school in the United States holds true.

That was the assessment of Superintendent Jerry Colonna as officials broke ground on the district's 32nd elementary school, Bonny Slope.

'(Where) we stand here today this will almost expand into the next century,' said Colonna at the new school site on McDaniel Road.

The school site is a little less than a mile north of the juncture of Cornell Road on 119th Avenue, the latter which turns into McDaniel Road.

During ceremonies, six students - Ryan Scales, Emma Grater, Bridgette Skiba, Cody Grater, Jacob Hillman and Carolina Trujillo-Fuentes - who will attend the school, provided a brief history of Bonny Slope and talked about things they were looking forward to when the school opens in the fall 2008.

'When I think about the new school, I am most excited about the gym,' said Scales.

Architects for the project are Dull, Olson, Weekes, whose last Beaverton school was Jacob Wismer Elementary School.

Skanska USA is the project's general contractor.

'Hartung' suggested

During last Wednesday's discussion, there was some concern that the new school might be confused with the old Bonny Slope School, located at the confluence of McDaniel, Thompson and Laidlaw roads.

That school opened in the 1930s and closed in 1977, according to information collected by historian and former School Board member Sally Bunnell.

Since then, the former Bonny Slope building has served as a print shop, storage facility and special-purpose academy. It houses Terra Nova options school, operated by the district and the Northwest Regional Education Service District.

In addition to Bonny Slope, Bunnell suggested names such as Hall School, James Flippin School, John Halsey Jones School, Tom Hartung School and Union School as her picks.

Other popular names submitted by the public included Odus Bales Elementary, John Quincy Adams Young Elementary, York Elementary and McDaniel Elementary.

Julie Corey, daughter of the late Tom Hartung, supported naming the school after her father who died in 2005.

Corey said Hartung lived in the Cedar Mill area for 52 years. He served in the Oregon Legislature for 10 sessions, serving in both the House and Senate.

Corey, a fifth-grade teacher at Raleigh Park Elementary School, said her father was a former member of the Beaverton School Board, a co-founder of the Beaverton Education Foundation and helped to get the Cedar Mill Library started.

Board member Tom Quillin said he supported naming the school Bonny Slope because it would give a stronger identity to the community where a nearby park already exists with the same name.

Bonny community

In the past when the board had to name schools, one name usually rises to the top, said board member Craig Irwin.

He said that hasn't occurred but his initial preference was for either Tom Hartung Elementary or McDaniel Elementary.

Board Chairwoman Priscilla Turner said she supported Bonny Slope, a name that would revitalize the community.

Although Turner said she felt Hartung's accomplishments were important, she had concerns about naming it after a politician because of perceptions of partisanship.

'As a political figure, that enters somewhat into our decision,' said Turner. 'That worries me a little bit.'

She did say however, that there could be a Tom Hartung Elementary School in the future.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bonny Slope Elementary School was held Wednesday. Kim Haskins, now principal at McKinley Elementary School, will be the school's first principal.

More than 100 suggested names were forwarded to the board for consideration during the past several months.

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