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Berewick, River Gate Chosen as New School Names

(April 28, 2009) The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved official names of six new schools at its regular meeting on April 28. Two of these are in Steele Creek and are scheduled to open this fall.

The new school on Dixie River Road is now Berewick Elementary School. The ballot provided to families with children who will attend the new school had the following description:

Berewick Elementary School:

Charlotte’s Steele Creek area was established in the late 1700’s by Scottish settlers.  Steele Creek is now one of the fastest growing areas of Mecklenburg County.  To support this growth, in 2002, Mecklenburg County purchased 195 acres of land in northwest Steele Creek to house a new elementary school and one of the county’s largest district parks, to consist of soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds, walking trails, and a dog park. The new park has since been upgraded to a regional park classification and named, Berewick Regional Park.  Through a shared-facility partnership with CMS, the Berewick Regional Park will have offices within the new school and access to its 30,000 sq. ft. recreation center when school is not in session. Berewick is a Scottish term meaning “village” or “small town”.  In addition to the regional park, Berewick is also the name for a residential community and eventually, a town center that will have office buildings, retail shops and restaurants. Naming the new school Berewick Elementary will pay tribute to Steele Creek’s Scottish heritage, and simultaneously represent the community’s developing future through a name shared by the school, regional park, and town center.

The other two top recommendations were James K. Polk Elementary School and Shopton Elementary School.

The Board approved the name River Gate Elementary School for the new school on the corner of Hamilton and Smith Roads. The naming ballot had the following description:

River Gate Elementary School:

River Gate is known as the gateway to the Catawba River. Since Childress Kline Properties opened RiverGate shopping center the surrounding area is becoming synonymous with this prosperous development. Many of our neighbors have come to refer to River Gate as the area they live. Some examples of schools being names after developments today within Charlotte Mecklenburg schools include: Ballantyne Elementary, Cotswold Elementary and Crown Point Elementary. In the future, as our area continues to grow, the River Gate name will become that much more recognized as the Gateway to the Catawba River/Lake Wylie area. When RiverGate shopping center expands, city transportation planners anticipate extending RiverGate Parkway to connect to Hamilton Road in proximity of our new school. River Gate Elementary will help to solidify the connection.

Other names considered were Hamilton Smith Elementary School and Walker Branch Elementary School.