What's in a name? Effective August 1 in Owatonna, it might mean referring to a different school building.

In their periodic newsletter email, the Owatonna School District announced that name changes for several schools have taken effect. Willow Creek Intermediate School at 1050 22nd St. N.E. becomes McKinley Elementary as it is converted to a K-5 school. McKinley, 423 14th St. N.E., takes on the name of Washington Elementary since many of the Washington staff and students will transition to that site.

The former Washington building at 338 Main St. E. is renamed the Owatonna Education Center. Owatonna's junior high at 500 15th St. N.E. is now known as Owatonna Middle School as it converts from grades 7-8 to serve grades 6-8. Temporary banners will go up at the schools until permanent signage is in place.

Construction projects and the ensuing name changes are a result of the passage of a referendum in November 2015. The school district indicates that work is on schedule for the opening of school, stating, "While there will still be limited construction taking place in some buildings after students arrive, crews are committed to minimizing disruption to starts and staff."

The Owatonna school district website offers a photo gallery of the construction progress. Sign up for the school district newsletter.

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