KUNA, Idaho — The community weighed in, and now the third high school in the rapidly growing Kuna School District has an official name: Swan Falls High School.
The district announced Wednesday that the district's Board of Trustees picked the name for the school Tuesday night. It's being built at the corner of Linder and Columbia roads.
More than 100 ideas were submitted for consideration earlier this year, and trustees picked three finalists last week: Desert View, Swan Falls and Mason Creek.
The district then surveyed the community for their top pick. Swan Falls received the most support, drawing more than 1,800 entries.
The comments highlighted Swan Falls' importance to Kuna. About 20 miles south of the city along the Snake River, it's a popular recreation spot. The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area also highlights its significance as a habitat for wildlife.
The area is also home to the Swan Falls Dam. Built in 1901 and operated by Idaho Power, it's the oldest hydroelectric generating site on the Snake River. The original power plant became a museum when Idaho Power built a new plant in the mid-1990s.
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Among the comments supporting naming the new school after Swan Falls:
"I grew up in Kuna and with it being such a small town at the time, Swan Falls was a major entertainment destination for swimming, fishing, hiking and camping. I learned how to drive down there and made some of my best memories there. I think it would be a fitting name for a place that should also be a place of great experiences and learning opportunities, much like Swan Falls was for me."
"I think Swan Falls is a relevant geological landmark where we have the largest concentration of raptors in the United States. To me, that is something to cherish and to be proud of. "
"Swan Falls is a spectacular feature in a beautiful canyon that is important to all creatures in the area. It's a symbol for Kuna, and nestled in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey NCA for which we are known."
The district said $25 million of a $40 million bond approved by voters in March 2017 was earmarked for Swan Falls High School's first phase. Land for the school was purchased in August of that year.
Site preparation is underway, with the first phase - a career technical education center and general education classrooms - set to open in fall 2020. The district said future additions will depend on resources and community support of future bonds and levies.
Decisions on the school's mascot and colors will be made at a later date.
On Tuesday, voters approved an unrelated 2-year, $5 million levy for the district.