Hermiston School District’s new elementary school, planned for Theater Lane, will be known as Loma Vista Elementary School.

The school board approved the new name during their Monday, Sept. 14, meeting.

Loma Vista is a Spanish phrase that translates into “Hill View” in English. The board had previously supported using a Spanish name for the new school to reflect the school district’s demographics, where more than half the students are Hispanic. The name also reflects the desire voiced by 60% of respondents to a previous survey, stating that they wanted to see the school named for a geographical feature instead of a person, in keeping with all the other elementary schools in the district.

The other two names the board had previously considered were Artemisa Elementary School and La Senda Elementary School.

After gathering initial feedback and narrowing down suggestions to three choices, the district sent out a second survey on Aug. 12. According to a news release from the district, there were almost 600 responses to that survey, and Loma Vista was the “clear leader.”

Construction of the new elementary school on East Theater Lane is expected to begin in spring 2021.

During the Sept. 14 meeting, the district also awarded the bid for its new softball fields to Nelson Construction. The district is building the new fields behind Hermiston High School on the old fairgrounds, in preparation for a new version of Rocky Heights Elementary School to be built where the current softball fields stand adjacent to the elementary school.

After the school board meeting, HSD human resources director Jake Bacon gave the district’s monthly informational report to the Hermiston City Council, and Bacon said the district is down about 210 students from September of 2019 and about 130 students from when school ended early last March.

He said after the first week of school some parents are already starting to notify the district that they changed their mind about homeschooling and have decided to re-enroll their child, however.

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