The new Bancroft School will be renamed in September.

Bancroft School’s new name may be Maurice Pritchett Sr. Academy

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

The new Bancroft School will be renamed in September.

The new Bancroft School will be renamed in September.

The first new school in Wilmington in 50 years is expected to officially receive its highly anticipated naming in September.

The board announced Tuesday that the naming committee’s final recommendation for what is now known as Bancroft School is Maurice Pritchett Sr. Academy, in honor of a former Bancroft principal.

On Sept. 12, Christina’s school board will officially vote on the committee’s recommendation, members announced Monday night.

The $84 million school in the Christina School District will cover several blocks in Wilmington and is expected to open for students by fall 2024.

An eight-person committee of stakeholders, including a parent, school principal LaChante Collier-Bacon and a teacher, was tasked with coming up with a name for the school.

At a May 25 topping-off ceremony, Gov. John Carney suggested naming the new building the Maurice Pritchett School, after the principal of the Bancroft School from 1975 to 2005. Pritchett died in April. 

RELATED: First new Wilmington school in 50 years topped off with joy

“Of all the leaders who’ve worked to improve the lives of the children on the East Side…Mr. Pritchett was on top of that list,” said Christina Superintendent Dan Shelton during the topping-off event.

The public had until July 14 to submit name recommendations to the naming committee.

Here are the submitted recommendations, with most choosing to honor Maurice Pritchett:

  • Pritchett Academy
  • James H. Sills Academy
  • Kirk Middle School
  • The Maurice Pritchett Academy of Academic Excellence
  • Maurice Pritchett Academy 
  • Stephanie T. Bolden or Bolden Elementary
  • Maurice Pritchett
  • Maurice Pritchett Elementary
  • The Maurice Pritchett Achievement Academy
  • Mr. Maurice Pritchett
  • Maurice Pritchett Middle School
  • The Maurice Pritchett School
  • Maurice Pritchett School 
  • Maurice Pritchett Sr. Academy 
  • Maurice Pritchett, Sr. School 
  • Maurice Pritchett Sr. Achievement Academy
  • The Maurice Pritchett Community
  • The Maurice Pritchett Sr. Achievement Academy

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki already has announced that 7th Street will be renamed Maurice Pritchett Way to honor the former principal. 

Bancroft school, which serves grades one through eight, was built in the 1970s, the decade desegregation efforts began to move city students into the suburbs and vice versa. 

The new campus will be bounded by East 6th and East 8th Streets, and between Lombard and Spruce Streets. 

Christina will host a public comment forum Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. in the existing Bancroft School’s auditorium.

The public can submit feedback on the proposed name here. Submissions must be made by Aug. 31. 

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