New school’s name up for a vote at Town Meeting

Jun 7, 2021

Voters will decide the name for the new elementary school being built on Minot Avenue at Town Meeting on June 12.

A citizens petition article, led by former School Committee member Mike Flaherty and School Building Committee member Rhonda Veugen, would name the building “The Wareham Elementary School” if the article passes.

According to the Board of Selectmen and Town Counsel Richard Bowen, the school already has a name: “The Decas School at Minot Forest.”

When Town Meeting voted to fund the new school in 2018, the article referred to the project as the “Decas School at Minot Forest.” The Selectmen asserted that that article simultaneously named the school, although that was not explicitly discussed at the time.

When Flaherty was still a member, the School Committee attempted to put an article on the warrant of the spring Town Meeting to name the school “Wareham Elementary,” but that article was blocked by the Board of Selectmen.

Citizens’ petitions, like the one authored by Flaherty and Veugen, are automatically placed on the warrant.

Flaherty said at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting that the new school would still honor the contributions of the Decas and Minot families through named wings. The third and fourth grade section of the school would be called the Minot Wing, and visitors to the school would almost immediately see the John W. Decas Innovation Hub as they walked through the front doors.

If the citizens’ petition fails, the school would remain “The Decas School at Minot Forest.”

Town Meeting will begin promptly at 11 a.m. at John W. Decas Elementary School, but voters are encouraged to arrive early to allow time for the check-in process.

This story has been updated to include information about Town Meeting, which will take place on June 12.