It's official: Howard County's next high school will be named River Hill.
The five-member Board of Education unanimously approved the name last week, though one member, Sandra French, voiced rTC concern over the choice.
Ms. French said she was looking for a neutral name so that students from throughout the western region of the county, and not just the River Hill neighborhood, could identify with the school.
But, she said, "Whether parents want it or not, that area is going to be River Hill."
The school, under construction on Route 108 near Trotter Road and due to open next school year, bears the name of Columbia's 10th and final village. Some of its students will come from outside that community.
About 300 Dorsey Hall students are scheduled to be redistricted there in 1996, when the school officially opens.
Next year, River Hill High will house Wilde Lake High students, whose school will close for two years to undergo more than $20 million worth of renovations.
Approval for River Hill comes four months after school board members asked a school-naming committee to reconsider the choice. Parents and students who had researched the area in which the school will be located requested that they be able to take part in the naming process.
"The question arose back in June what name [would] best reflect the community," board member Susan Cooke said. "In my opinion, the best name was Clarksville."
Clarksville was rejected because it is the name of an elementary and a middle school.
Ms. Cooke said River Hill is an appropriate name because Howard Research and Development Corp., which donated the 50 acres for the school, is developing the River Hill neighborhood.
"It is their land, and they are building River Hill, so it sort of seemed natural," she said.
School officials are revising their school-naming policy so that more community members will be able to participate and that future school names will better reflect historical ties.