Old Frederick High School renamed Thunder Valley

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By Ben Wiebesiek

LONGMONT — With the opening of the new Frederick High School, the St. Vrain Valley School District now has some space to work with in the Carbon Valley area.
    This starts with the site of the old school, which is being renovated to become a new K-8 school.
    And now, the new school has a name and a mascot: The Thunder Valley Raptors.
    The St. Vrain school board voted Nov. 14 on a number of suggestions submitted by the community.
    “I thought naming my kids was hard,” said school board vice president Bob Smith. “Especially once the grandparents get involved.”
    The district started soliciting suggestions from the community in September. From the 14 names submitted online, or at the school, the community voted to narrow the list to three finalists: Buffalo Ridge, Range View and Thunder Valley. Then the school board was presented the case for each name and a list of similar-sounding institutions in the area.
    “Thunder Valley recognizes the climactic and quickly changing weather patterns and pays homage to our Carbon Valley roots,” read a memo from district Superintendent Don Haddad. “As every Colorado resident knows, the weather literally can change minute-by-minute at any location anywhere on the Front Range. As we watch storms dramatically roll over the Rocky Mountains, we have a clear view of what is on the horizon at the new school.”
    Haddad said the Thunder Valley name became a front runner after the first round of parent-teacher conferences.    
    “As a storm moved over the area, we were reminded of the importance of our role as both parents and educators in preparing our students for the unexpected,” Haddad said. “The thunder during conferences rattled our windows, but we persevered and continued with our important work of discussing students and their progress.”
    The memo mentioned that there is a Thunder Valley Motocross track in Lakewood.
    The school board also finalized blue and gold for the school colors because it will require less transition with the old high school.
    The boundaries for Thunder Valley will match the existing area for Frederick Elementary, which is slated to become an early childhood education center. The middle school grades will ease overcrowding at nearby Coal Ridge Middle in Firestone. Coal Ridge is currently at 115 percent capacity. 
    These boundaries are anticipated to apply to 325 students now at Frederick Elementary in addition to 268 students from Coal Ridge.
    Haddad said in a memo that there would be open enrollment would allow students to stay at Coal Ridge if they wished to finish at the same school they started.
    Depending on enrollment, and if enough students opt to stay at Coal Ridge, Haddad said Thunder Valley may open as a K-7 during its inaugural year.

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