New name, era for Lacamas Heights

Lacamas Leopard mascot will remain unchanged

What’s in a name?

When it comes to selecting one for a new school, it means a slew of meetings, plus surveys with students, parents and community members — and, of course, the all-important “receptionist test.”

“You need to consider the person who answers the phone several times a day, every day,” Julie Mueller, principal of Lacamas Heights Elementary, told Camas School Board members this week.

On Monday, the board unanimously approved “Lacamas Lake Elementary,” as the school’s new name.

Mueller and other committee members discussed the name-selection process for the new building, now under construction north of Lacamas Lake at Northeast 232nd Avenue, which will replace the current school at 4600 N.E. Garfield St. The Garfield Street building, designed in the early 1960s, will be used for a yet-to-be determined purpose.

Meanwhile, the new, 600-student school will open in the fall of 2018. Voters passed a bond in 2016 that will fund the $44.6 million school, along with several other Camas School District building projects.

“Lacamas Lake Elementary preserves some identity of the original name and school pride,” board member Doug Quinn said.

New board member Tracey Malone is a Lacamas alumni. She noted that the original name is very important.

“It has always been called Lacamas Heights and being a Camas person forever, that’s the name,” Malone said. “It needs to have ‘Lacamas’ in some part of it. That’s why I can support the name of Lacamas Lake.”

The school mascot, the Lacamas Leopards, will remain the same.