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Lancaster County School District officials have unveiled the proposed name and attendance boundary lines for Indian Land’s new elementary school.
At the Nov. 19, school board meeting, Lancaster County School District Director of Planning and Accountability Lydia Quinn announced the proposed name as Harrisburg Elementary School.
Its proposed mascot is the Tomahawks, and school colors are blue, gold and white.
The suggestions, which won’t be voted on until the Dec. 10 school board meeting, were the result of a naming committee comprised of local educators and longtime Indian Land residents.
“We spent a lot of time looking at a lot of different information, and one of the things we felt was important in the consideration was the history of the community,” Quinn said.
Citing information provided by committee member and local historian Lindsay Pettus, Quinn said the area where the school is located was known as Harrisburg in the early 1800s. Harrisburg Road, which was once a path along a well-traveled Native American trading path, became known in colonial days as the “Road to the Cheraws.”
Later, as a portion of the “Camden-Salisbury Road,” the road would become part of local lore. It was the road George Washington traveled in 1791 after his famous stop at Nathan Barr’s Tavern in Barnettesville (Lancaster).
“From there, Washington would have traveled north and into Mecklenburg on Harrisburg Road,” Quinn said. “Not only was Harrisburg Road traveled by President Washington, but it was also traveled by two young boys who would later become presidents: Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk.”
The road would have also led British Gen. Charles Cornwallis’ troops to the famous “Hornet’s Nest” battle from which he retreated, and was also near the scene of Thomas Sumter’s election as general by his peers.
Quinn said the committee felt the name was a fitting way to recognize a road that helped “pave the way” and honor the area’s vibrant Catawba Indian heritage with the mascot.
“The Tomahawks mascot will tie in with the Indian Land Warrior theme,” Quinn said. “Using the blue, gold and white colors allows for continuity of school and community spirit and will connect these elementary students to the middle and high schools they will attend.”
Bryan Vaughn, the district’s safety and transportation director, also presented the school’s proposed attendance boundary. Vaughn said the line is based on current and projected areas of growth in Indian Land.
According to a map provided by the school district, the proposed boundary would begin between Hanover and Possum Hollow roads in the 8800 block of Charlotte Highway (U.S. 521).
Heading west, the boundary runs south of Possum Hollow Road until it dips southward to encompass Whippoorwill Drive, along the fire district boundary before continuing west to the Catawba River.
East from Charlotte Highway, the boundary line cuts across undeveloped property north of the City of Lights to Six Mile Creek, which it follows northward to Cow Branch.
From there, the line follows the shoreline of Cow Branch east to the state line, north of Ravenwood Drive and south of Cook Drive and Caddell and Smith roads.
Attendance at the new school, which is set to open for the fall 2014 semester with immediate room for 980 students, is estimated at 767 students.
The opening should reduce the student population of the severely overcrowded Indian Land Elementary School from more than 1,500 students to slightly more than 800.
Board members won’t vote on the attendance boundaries until the Dec. meeting.
Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151