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Austin Public Schools

Policy 808 - Naming School Buildings or Facilities

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The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the naming of school buildings or facilities.


The naming of school buildings or facilities is the responsibility of the School Board. All name requests and changes will begin with the School Board Facilities Committee. Any request or change will need to be in writing to the Superintendent who will then take the request to the Facilities Committee for their consideration. If the School Board Facilities Committee determines it will consider the request, they may then take the following steps: Request a meeting with the requesting party or parties, select the name, or appoint a committee to make recommendations to the Board. The Superintendent will respond in writing, email or letter, to the requesting party or parties once the School Board Facilities Committee has determined either not to consider the request or what the next step in the process will be. The appointed committee should consist of community members, school personnel and students.

Schools and sites may be given names:

  • which are indicative of the areas in which they are located.
  • for individuals who have achieved significant places in America, Minnesota, or School District life
  • for entities which have contributed significantly to the District.

The names of sites which serve a district-wide function (e.g., Administrative Services, Community Education) and for facilities or portions of facilities which are jointly owned by the School District and other entities may be named to illustrate the nature of their role in the District.

Portions of school facilities, such as libraries, gymnasiums and athletic fields, shall be named according to their educational purpose; however, names of individuals or entities may also be associated with these facility sub-units upon designation by the Board.

  • Nominations may include names of one-time District employees, citizens who lived within the School District, or former students of the School District.
  • Each case shall be acted upon separately by the School Board.
  • Nominations shall be submitted to the Superintendent who will duly inform the Board at the time of nomination and who will maintain a current file of nominations.

When naming a facility or portions of a facility, the following criteria shall be

  • The proposed name shall be appropriate.
  • The name will stand the test of time.
  • If the name involves a person, there shall be evidence of distinguished service, special school contributions (fiscal or service), or other honors earned which reflect well upon the education received in the School District.
  • Naming a site or facility after a deceased person shall be done after taking the above criteria into consideration and a reasonable waiting period following the individual’s death.
  • In naming sites or facilities, special consideration may be given to those names that will have some special meaning to the students and citizens and will enhance the educational program of the school district.

III. Periodic Review

Periodically, site or facility names shall be reviewed as to their continued appropriateness. If a particular name is no longer appropriate, the School Board reserves the right to change it. The Facilities Committee has the responsibility for the review. 

Policy Approved: 04/09/12
Revised Policy Approved: 01/14/13
Policy Reviewed: 09/08/13
Policy Reviewed: 01/09/17
Policy Reviewed: 07/08/19
Revised Policy Approved: 08/09/21

Austin Public Schools’ Named Facilities

  • Banfield Elementary after Nathan F. Banfield
  • Bud Higgins Pool at Ellis Middle School after Bud Higgins
  • Christgau Hall after Arthur Christgau
  • Dick Seltz Field after Richard “Dick” Seltz
  • Don Fox Field after Don Fox (east practice field at Wescott Athletic Complex)
  • Ellis Middle School after Allen V. Ellis
  • Hass Stadium after Arthur P. Hass
  • I.J. Holton Intermediate School after I.J. Holton
  • Knox Gym at I.J. Holton after Steve Knox
  • Knowlton Auditorium after Richard Knowlton
  • Larry Gilbertson Track after Larry L. Gilbertson
  • Neveln Elementary after Samuel Thomas Neveln
  • Ove Berven Gymnasium after Ove Berven
  • Paulson Tennis Courts after Keith Paulson
  • Richard Lees Lab (science lab) at Ellis Middle School after Richard Lees
  • Sperati Music Room after Vittorio Sperati
  • Wescott Athletic Complex after Ray Wescott
  • Baxter Learning Studio at Neveln after Neveln’s First Principal, Francis Baxter