The Bentonville School Board approved a name and mascot for the new high school on Gamble Road in Centerton on Monday (Mar. 17). But not everybody is happy with the board’s decision.
School board members approved Bentonville West High School as the name and Wolverines as the mascot. Some residents in Centerton said they are upset that the school name has the word Bentonville in it, but not Centerton.
Students voted Centerton High School as their top choice for the name of the Bentonville School District’s planned second high school, but that name was not in the final list voted on by School Board members Monday.
“I think that anything that is in Centerton should carry the Centerton name,” said Nikki Madison.
The name Bentonville West has other Centerton parents excited.
“I think that the name is very good,” said Christina Worrell. “I am glad that they included Bentonville in the name, so that you have that association.”
School Board Vice President Grant Lightle said the decision is final. Lightle said he understands some people may be upset, but said including Bentonville in the school name will help keep continuity between the buildings.
Madison disagrees, and said a school name should not impact branding.
“My son goes to Centerton Gamble Elementary, and I like that the school name has the word Centerton in it,” she said. “The school is part of the Bentonville School District, and carries the brand of being associated with the district very proudly. I don’t see how the name would make any difference.”
Worrell said it’s just a name, and people should be more concerned about the impact the school will have on students.
“In the end, the reason for the school being built is because there wasn’t enough room in Bentonville,” she said. “I think the name of the new school represents the spirit and purpose for the building.”
District officials said the next step is to figure out the school colors. The board is expected to vote on those at its next formal meeting.
Construction on the new building will begin later this year, and classes are scheduled to start in 2016.