School Board Policy 809 -
Naming School Buildings or Facilities

Adopted: March 1, 2021
Revised: March 13, 2023

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the naming of school buildings or facilities, including grounds.

II. General Statement of Policy 

The naming of school buildings, major portions of buildings, or school grounds is the responsibility of the White Bear Lake Area Schools School Board and applies to buildings, rooms, internal spaces, landscape features, courts, athletic fields, open spaces, and all other areas owned, operated or controlled by the White Bear Lake Area Schools.

III. Guidelines for Naming of School or Facilities

The policy of the School Board is to name school buildings as close as possible to the time construction begins in order to lessen the confusion about the new school.

A. Naming proposals for schools and facilities will be considered at any time, including naming proposals recommended prior to construction, when construction is in progress, or after being acquired by the district.

B. The Superintendent may delegate responsibility to administrative designee(s) or a task force charged with the responsibility of determining the process for soliciting and evaluating names, pursuant to providing a recommendation to the Superintendent and School Board for consideration. When a task force is formed:

1. The naming task force will include representatives from the school attendance area (or likely attendance area if boundaries are not yet established at the time of naming), students(s), staff and cabinet.

2. The naming task force will provide the opportunity to take recommendations from the public for a period of no less than 21 days.

3. School buildings or facilities may be named after landmarks, locations, or topographical features which have local significance; individuals who have achieved a significant place in school district life, or have local, state, or national significance; or symbols or words that capture the essence for the place or function of the school.

4. The naming task force will submit their top two or more choices to the Superintendent, one of which the Superintendent may present to the Board.

C. Portions of school facilities such as media center/library, theaters, athletic facilities, and other spaces shall be named according to their educational purpose; however, names of individuals or entities may also be associated with these facility subunits upon designation by the Board.

D. The Superintendent, designee, or task force chair/co-chairs, upon completing their work, will make a recommendation to the School Board for approval. The decisions of the School Board shall be final.

IV. Honorary Naming of Facilities, Portions of Facilities, and Grounds

At the recommendation of administration, the School Board may approve naming of school facilities or grounds or portions of facilities and grounds as a recognition of significant contribution to the school district. Due regard should be taken of the role the names of buildings and spaces contribute to the school district's sense of identity, as well as their role in assisting staff, students, and visitors to orient themselves within a campus.

A. Honorary naming of an individual without financial contribution is recognition of a significant contribution to the school district that the district wishes to honor. The Board will apply the following guidelines in considering the recommendation of any individual's name proposed for a facility or portion thereof;

1. The individual has had direct, substantial, and active association with the district and has exemplified the district mission. Selection may also be based on the individual's record of scholarship, creativity, leadership, humanitarian service, or public service. Facilities may also be named to recognize organizations, individuals, geographical or historical features, and programs which have had significant impact in the life of the district.

2. Recommendations must provide evidence of significant importance to the district and must outline the justifications for the name being suggested. Naming for such contributions is at the district's discretion and in support of its mission.

3. The Superintendent and the School Board will evaluate the proposed name against the following additional criteria:

a. Nominee has had a significant, long-term relationship with the White Bear Lake Area Schools.

b. Nominee, if a former White Bear Lake Area Schools employee, will have been retired or separated from district employment for a minimum of three years.

c. Nominee has widespread support from colleagues, parents/guardians, and students.

d. Nominee has achieved local, regional, or national recognition for achievements.

e. Nominee has held local, regional, or national leadership roles in the field of expertise and is no longer active in their career.

V. Honorary Naming Through Financial Contribution

Honorary naming through financial contribution is recognition for financial contributions, be it in the way of donation, bequest, sponsorship or other commercial transactions. Due regard should be taken to consider balance between the commercial considerations and the role the names of buildings and spaces contribute to the school district's sense of identity, as well as their role in assisting staff, students, and visitors to orient themselves within a campus. The Board will apply the following guidelines in considering the recommendation of any entity proposed for a facility or portion thereof;

A. Monetary valuations may be assigned to proposed naming rights on a case-by-case basis to aid with making decisions about granting naming rights.

B. The monetary valuation for the naming of a school or media center/library, theaters, athletic facilities, and other spaces will be decided by the Superintendent. Each case should take into account market comparisons for naming rights for which professional advise may be sought. Application of this policy may result in a facility named for an individual or a company.

C. The granting of naming rights must always be consistent with the school district's mission or vision. The long-term effects of the naming rights must be considered. Each granting of naming rights is bound by a written agreement.

VI. Specific Naming Agreement Through Financial Contribution

A. The school district recognizes that circumstances exist when the district might enter into an agreement for the specific naming of a facility or space in exchange for a specific financial or other contribution to the district.

B. Transferability, renewability, and limits:

1. Transferability or renewability must be included in the written agreement. If not specifically identified in the agreement naming rights are not transferable or renewable.

2. The district's right to use the name and other brand elements of the named party are permitted by express agreement with the named party.

3. The named party has no decision-making rights as to the purpose or improvement of the facility or space unless specifically provided in the written agreement between the parties. The district will not agree to any condition in an agreement that does not align with the district's mission and purpose, statutory obligation, or the local authority of the School Board.

VII. Renaming and Revocation

The School Board reserves the right to rename any named asset of the district. The Board reserves the right to revoke naming if for any reason it presents risk or harm to the reputation of the school district, or if the intent of the gift or terms of sponsorship associated with the naming cannot be fulfilled.