KUNA — The Kuna School District’s new third high school will be called Swan Falls High. The Kuna Board of Trustees selected the name Tuesday.
The school, under construction at the intersection of Linder and Columbia Roads, is slated to open in the fall of next year.
More than 100 ideas were submitted to the Board for consideration earlier this year, said Kuna School District spokesman David Reinhart.
“Last week, trustees narrowed the name choices to three -- Desert View, Swan Falls and Mason Creek -- and asked the community to weigh in on their favorite. The survey proved to be the district’s most popular, drawing more than 1,800
entries -- with Swan Falls receiving the most support,” he said.
Swan Falls references a popular recreation area and significant wildlife area along the Snake River, about twenty miles south of Kuna. It is the site of the Swan Falls Dam, operated by Idaho Power. The original dam was built in 1901 to provide electricity
to nearby mines.
According to Idaho Power, Swan Falls is the oldest hydroelectric
generating site on the Snake River. The old plant became a museum, when Idaho Power built a new power plant in the mid-1990s.
Comments provided by survey-takers highlighted the importance of the area to the Kuna community:
“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,” one person wrote.
“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,” another said.
“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,” said another.
The district broke ground on the first phase of Swan Falls High School on March 5.
The first phase of the school, a career technical education center and general education classrooms, is scheduled to open in in the fall of next year.
In March, 2017, Kuna patrons approved a $40 million bond -- $25 million of which was earmarked for the first phase of the new high school. The district purchased land at Columbia and Linder Roads in August of that year. Plans and permits for the school were approved in November 2018, and site preparation is now underway. “Future additions to the school will depend on resources and community support of future bonds and levies,” Reinhart said.
Decisions on a school mascot and colors will be made at a later date.
(rendering courtesy Kuna School District and LKV Architects)