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It’s Liberty High for name of Menifee area’s new school

The new high school planned near Menifee will be called Liberty High School.
The name was chosen by the Perris Union High School District board Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Liberty was selected over two other suggestions  from the naming committee  — Menifee and Menifee Hills.
That didn’t sit well with all committee members, some of whom were hoping Menifee would be in the name.
“I would have preferred either one of the two Menifee options,” said Eric Kroencke, a naming committee member and former Perris Union trustee.
Menifee Mayor Bill Zimmerman was blunter.
“The Perris board makes all decisions for Menifee’s high schools, including the name,” he said. “The name they selected, Liberty, may actually be fitting. It is exactly how Menifee parents will feel after unification happens.”
Unification is a process in the works that would bring most schools in Menifee under a single education agency. Today, children attend kindergarten through eighth grade in either the Menifee or Romoland districts and high school in Perris Union. If unification were to occur, Paloma Valley and Liberty High would leave Perris and join Menifee Union schools in a new Menifee Unified district.

Fred Good, a consultant who helped with the naming process, said the Liberty name meshes well with Heritage, another Perris Union high school.
“During public comments, several people expressed support for the Liberty and the board went with it,” Good said.
Candace Reines, deputy superintendent of business services, said speakers at the meeting liked the idea of having Heritage at the north end of the district and Liberty to the south.
Though nearby, neither campus is within Menifee’s city limits.
Speakers also said that putting Menifee in the school’s name could make it appear that unification was a certainty, she said.
“They didn’t want folks to feel that because its name is Menifee, they were automatically going to get it,” Reines said.
There are still a number of steps before unification could occur.
Menifee is one of two southwest Riverside County cities with a high school that doesn’t bear its name.
There is no Wildomar High School, but Elsinore High is in that city.
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Plans call for Liberty High School to be built on district-owned land on the northwest corner of Wickerd and Leon roads, southeast of Menifee.
Perris Union is asking voters to approve  Measure W , a $148 million bond measure that would pay for half of the school. District officials say the other half of the funds would come from a bond that voters approved in 2012.
If the measure is successful, construction would begin in early 2019 and the school would open in August 2021, district administrators said.

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