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      Ottumwa's newest school now has a name

      The new elementary school on Mary St. is on schedule to open in August 2013.

      After many months of deliberation, the Ottumwa School Board finally settled on a name for the district's new elementary school.

      The board had it narrowed down to two choices - Liberty and Fahrney - for a few months.

      Both names have significance in the Ottumwa community. Liberty speaks of freedom and honors the area's many veterans, while Fahrney honors the family that has invested a lot of money and dedication to Ottumwa and its education system.

      In the end, the board went with Liberty. Ottumwa Superintendent Davis Eidahl left the final vote to the board because they represent the community.

      "It needed to be in the hands of our board, who had received over the last several weeks, a lot of input from several different individuals in our community, just weighing in on what they liked," Eidahl said. "It was a good decision to get behind us and move forward with really, a name that has a lot of meaning."

      The initial suggestions for a school name came from the community and the district received more than 70 options.

      Eidahl said the next steps are deciding on a mascot and colors. While nothing is set in stone, an eagle has been a popular choice for a mascot, referencing the city's vast eagle population as well as contributing to the freedom theme.

      The school will open in the fall.