Board seeks name and state funds for school planned in Eldersburg


South Carroll residents have their Freedom and their Liberty.

How about Independence or Justice?

Independence Middle School and Justice Middle School are two of the names suggested for the new middle school that will be built on Oklahoma Road in Eldersburg next year.

Although it commonly has been referred to as the Oklahoma Road Middle School, it hasn't officially been named by the Carroll County Board of Education.

The board will choose a name at its meeting Jan. 12, from recommendations by the school's construction committee and Superintendent R. Edward Shilling.

In October, Mr. Shilling began asking people to submit suggestions for the school's name. Sykesville Middle School Principal Donald Pyles also sent surveys home with students.

Of the 38 surveys returned, 23 suggested making it official as Oklahoma Middle School, because that's what children already call the nearby playing fields.

But several others seemed to feel it wasn't too late for a fresh name.

"Since we already have 'Liberty [High School]' and 'Freedom [Elementary School],' the only logical choice to remain would be 'Justice,' " one letter to Mr. Shilling reads, although another letter claims "Independence" would be just as logical and patriotic a name.

The Sykesville Memorial Post No. 223 and two individuals, Christopher C. Gillis and Edward M. Budelis, suggested naming the school after William Bandorick, a Sykesville resident and Army veteran who died recently.

Other suggestions from Mr. Pyles' survey are Maple Leaf Middle, Oakland Mills, Eldersburg, Liberty, Windy Pines, Southeast, New Lake and Wye Oak.

The school, only in the design stages, will be among the projects county officials pursue today as they appeal recommendations by the state's Interagency Committee for Public School Construction.

The committee has recommended that no state money go to the project yet, until more need is shown for the school.

If the state doesn't provide half the $12 million the school is expected to cost, county commissioners have said they would build the school entirely with county money to alleviate crowding at Sykesville Middle School.

Parents have lobbied local and state officials vigorously for the school.

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