Friday, December 10, 2010
What’s in a name?
Carlisle School considers naming rights
If Coca-Cola offered the Carlisle School a million dollars to name a building the “Coca-Cola Building,” would the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) accept the money? That was the question the committee put to each other as they hammered out a “Facility Naming Policy” at the December 1 CSC meeting.
The current buildings were named for locations, founding families, and one generous land donor (see Table below). Historically the School Building Committees, with input from the town and school committee, choose facility names. In 1963, when the Wilkins Building (then called the Timothy Wilkins School) was constructed, the new name was chosen by a vote at the June Town Meeting. But up to now no formal policy has been in place to direct the naming of facilities, which include athletic fields.
At the November meeting, Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF) member Peg Gladstone asked for permission to offer “naming rights” to major donors who participate in CEF’s fundraising campaign. The funds being raised are targeted for the new science and engineering lab and multi-purpose room. Superintendent Joyce Mehaffey noted that although the engineering room is being built “there’s no money for equipment.” Chair Chad Koski had thanked Gladstone for the CEF’s support and said the committee would develop a policy on naming rights.
Naming and re-naming rights
The draft policy gives the school committee the jurisdiction to “name newly constructed schools as well as rename existing facilities, including rooms or areas within existing or new school buildings and athletic fields.” The policy gives some guidance as to the source of names: “Facilities…may be named after notable persons, geographical locations or geographical landmarks. When considering the naming or renaming of a facility…preference is to be given to those who have had a substantial impact upon education in Carlisle.” The policy goes on to include consideration of local, state, national, or international individuals and “...consideration of individuals who have made a financial contribution to the schools….”
CSC member Mary Storrs wondered if control over naming the facilities should lie in the hands of the Selectmen. CSC member Josh Kablotsky suggested the committee could consult with the Selectmen. He added that it would be important not to allow advertising. Koski agreed, saying “just a plaque” would be displayed. The committee discussed the process they would follow with CEF’s campaign. Names of major donors who potentially would have a room or even equipment named after them would be submitted to the CSC for consideration. The committee discussed whether they need to vote to approve CEF’s campaign. Instead, they agreed to draft a letter stating their support of the campaign and the concept of naming rights. ∆
© 2010 The