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School board votes on name for Harrisonburg’s second high school

Construction at the city's second high school.
Construction at the city's second high school.(WHSV)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The wait is over for the name of the Friendly City’s second high school.

Every member of the school board voted in favor of calling it Rocktown High School after hearing positive feedback from students, alumni, and the Harrisonburg community.

The board also voted in favor of black and red as the school colors, so now some more personalized items like bleachers and paint can start to be ordered, but a school mascot was not decided on Tuesday night.

After the vote, the board chair, Nick Swayne, gave a shoutout to the concerned citizens and parents, especially mothers, who he said were the driving force behind building a second high school.

The board appointed a naming committee that has worked to come up with names, gather public feedback, and narrow down options over the last few months.

“I’d also like to say a note of thanks to the committee,” Swayne said. “You did a wonderful job of pulling all of that information together and presenting it in a wonderful way, and I almost apologize that we didn’t pick your recommendation.”

The naming committee made South Ridge its final recommendation for the name.

The school division conducted a recent survey of over 1,600 Harrisonburg students asking for their preference between Rocktown, South Ridge, and Valley View. Rocktown received the most votes.

“I know that a lot of the community members have been indicating their preference for Rocktown,”

Earlier Tuesday, Howard said no matter what the board decides Tuesday night, the school division is pleased with how much involvement the community had in the naming process.

“I think it will be exciting to have a name for so long we’ve referred to it as HHS2 so it’ll be nice to give it a name and its own identity. It’s exciting that students and community members have been a part of this process,” April Howard, Chief Officer of Student Support for Harrisonburg City Public Schools, told WHSV before the meeting.

After the vote, the board heard the first Rocktown High School construction update. The second floor of the building has been poured and roofs are now up on the gymnasiums.

This Friday, May 6, the district is having a topping-off ceremony where the final steel beam can be signed by all in attendance and set into place, weather permitting.

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