Leona Marshall Libby Elementary School. Franklin T. Matthias Elementary School. Orchard Hills Elementary School.
Almost 60 names have been submitted online for Richland's newest elementary school, according to a list released Monday from the Richland School District.
Several more handwritten suggestions, many of them from students, have yet to be tallied, said Robert Broecker, the new school's principal.
"We are in the brainstorming stage and at the point where nothing is eliminated," he said.
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Libby, an American physicist who helped build the first nuclear reactor and nuclear bomb and helped solve the problem of xenon poisoning at a Hanford reactor, collected the most suggestions at five.
Orchard Hills has been submitted four times, though names using a form of "orchard" account for 10 suggestions total.
Lt. Col. Matthias, a nuclear engineer who directed construction of the Hanford site, has been suggested three times.
Most of the names take cues from the region's natural features and history. However, others, such as Robin Williams Elementary School, draw their inspiration from further afield.
The new elementary school is being built near the intersection of Westcliffe Boulevard and Brantingham Road in south Richland as part of a $98 million bond. It is scheduled to open next fall.
Many suggesting names note that the area once had lots of orchards and some are still near the school site. Others hearkened to the terrain around the school, yielding names such as Mountain View, Candy Mountain, Red Mountain, Little Badger, Benton Hills and Rattlesnake or water features such as Amon Creek and Snake River.
Prominent people make up a big portion of the list as well. Beyond Matthias and Libby, some have local ties, such as Sam Volpentest, a prominent Tri-City businessman; J.D. Covington, a former Richland High School football coach; and Bob Mars, a Kiona-Benton City teacher who was murdered in 2004.
Physicist Enrico Fermi, who was Libby's mentor, has also been suggested because of his ties to Hanford.
Names of historical figures, such as physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton and presidents George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy have also been submitted.
District policy requires buildings be named after geographic characteristics of the area where the school is located or people who have died and achieved local or national stature from contributions to education, the arts and sciences, historical significance to the region, military achievements or statesmanship.
That standard likely eliminates the recommendation of Orson Scott Card as a namesake. The best-selling author of the science fiction novel Ender's Game is from Richland but is still alive.
Some suggested names are duplicates of other schools or facilities in the region. There already is a Columbia Elementary School in Burbank, a Ridgeview Elementary School in Kennewick and Richland has a Badger Mountain Elementary School. Coyote Ridge is the name of the state prison in Connell.
"Some of them will fit the criteria, some of them will not," Broecker said while declining to comment on any specific suggestions.
A district committee will review all the names before submitting five recommendations to the school board. The board is expected to make a final decision on a name for the school in November, Broecker said.
-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald