New Howard school named for Thomas Viaduct

The new school being built in the Oxford Square development in Hanover officially has a name. On Tuesday, the Howard County Board of Education unanimously approved the name, “Thomas Viaduct Middle School,” for the school that will open in August 2014.

The vote came after a recommendation from a naming committee in November and a public hearing Dec. 5, where no one testified.

Thomas Viaduct is a bridge that crosses the Patapsco River near Elkridge. Completed in 1835, it is the world’s oldest multi-arched stone railroad bridge. It is about three miles from the school that now bears its name.

Ducketts Lane Elementary School, which opened earlier this year in Elkridge, was originally proposed to be named “Thomas Viaduct Elementary School,” but members of the board and that naming committee worried “viaduct” was too difficult a word for elementary students.

Board members applauded the name Tuesday. Janet Siddiqui said she would have liked to have seen Ducketts Lane carry the Thomas Viaduct name, and was glad to see the name proposed once more.

“In terms of the area, it’s historic architecture,” she said. “It will be a teaching opportunity."

Shiney Ann John, principal of Thomas Viaduct, said the name “is an important first step in the creation of our school community. It grounds us, gives us a focal point from which to move forward.”

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