Las Cruces – At a special meeting on March 8, 2011, the LCPS Board of Education selected "Centennial" as the name of the school district's new high school. The school, under construction on Sonoma Ranch Boulevard near Dripping Springs Road, will open in 2012 - the 100th anniversary of New Mexico's statehood.
The Board also voted to adopt "Hawks" as the school mascot. And, it adopted red, black and New Mexico gold (bright yellow, as in the state's flag) as the school colors.
"Next year is New Mexico's birthday," said Board member Dr. Bonnie Votaw. "I am awestruck by that. I love our history. I love our state. I love our birthday," she said. Votaw also suggested that LCPS may be the only school district in New Mexico opening a new high school during the state's centennial.
The school district received 532 suggestions of names and mascots in an online community survey conducted in February. The top voter getters from that survey were then submitted to all LCPS middle school students in a second survey. 1,254 middle school students voted, and the top five names were forwarded to Superintendent Stan Rounds: Centennial, Desert View, Dripping Springs, Mountain View and Organ Mountain. The students also voted on their choice of mascots, which included mountain lion, coyote, hawk, mustang and wolf. It was from those choices that the Board of Education made the final selections.
In addition to naming the new school, Dr. Votaw suggested that a time capsule be buried at the school site on January 6, 2012. A celebration will commemorate the activity. Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912. The admission of the neighboring State of Arizona the following month completed the contiguous 48 states.