110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Apr 28, 2011 - 8:55:42am
Less than four months before it opens its doors to welcome its first crop of young learners, Volusia County’s newest elementary school has been named.
“Welcome to Citrus Grove Elementary,” School Board Chairman Stan Schmidt said, after the decision April 26.
Known during construction as Elementary Z, the school at 729 Hazen Road in DeLand got its permanent name courtesy of the Volusia County School Board. The board voted unanimously April 26 to christen the school and adopt orange and green as the school’s colors. Citrus Grove Elementary’s mascot will be an eagle.
Several names had been suggested. Choices included Hazen Road Elementary, Sunshine Elementary, Orange Blossom Elementary and Live Oak Elementary. The proposed names appeared on the Volusia School District’s website, www.myvolusiaschools.org, and visitors could select their preference.
“The overwhelming result was Citrus Grove Elementary,” Area Superintendent Annette Martinson said. She said the online straw vote drew interest from parents, students, business owners and other community residents.
“We had 356 respondents,” Martinson said.
District Superintendent Margaret Smith recommended Citrus Grove Elementary, and the board ratified her recommendation by a vote of 4-0. Board Member Candace Lankford was absent.
Martinson noted another suggested name had been submitted: Stan Whitted Elementary. That got one vote, she said.
Whitted, a longtime educator who is now an area superintendent, was in the audience.
“I’d like to request a recount,” he said, jokingly.
Citrus Grove Elementary will open for classes in August.
The new $18.7 million school prompted the School Board to redraw attendance zones for other elementaries in DeLand: George Marks, Starke, Blue Lake and Freedom.
The board originally planned to open the school last year, but an unusually cold and prolonged winter, along with problems with subcontractors, delayed construction.
Citrus Elementary is one of several schools whose construction was funded by the revenues of a local-option half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2001. The add-on sales tax provides revenues to repay a $461 million school-construction bond issue.
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