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Manatee County School District Accepting New Name Recommendations For North River High School

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WWSB)- Manatee County School District's North River High School has not even opened. Yet, some community members are already demanding the school be renamed.

The school is under construction in Parrish and set to open in August of 2019.

"When you mess with Parrish, you mess with the people of Parrish, we're a small sleepy town but you can wake us up really fast, and you have," said Parrish Civic Association President, Gretchen Fowler.

Fowler said that when deciding a name for the new high school, she feels like the school board didn't listen to the community. She said the name North River High School is generic and doesn't identify the school's geographical location.

"We were surprised when we heard it was being named North River instead of Parrish High School. So everybody got together, we got a petition, got people to show up to meetings, got t-shirts and said that we want to be heard. We want you to listen to the community as to which you are representing as a school board," Fowler said.

And the school board recognized the push back.

"School board members listened to that and they have made a decision to open up the process or go through a renaming process for that school," said Manatee County School District's Director of Communications, Michael Barber.

School district policy mandates a six month process, during which community members can submit names through mail, email, and in person. The district will choose a new name when the process ends in February.

"We'll have a public hearing during that board meeting, which will be set aside, people can come in, talk about the names and so forth that they are nominating and then the school board will make a decision that evening. But even during that public hearing we'll still be accepting nominations," Barber said.

The district said it will hold a public meeting on October 24th at Buffalo Creek Middle School to talk more about the renaming process. So far the district said it has received about 70 recommendations.

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