Historic Springfield city school gets new name

Will now be called Springfield Center of Innovation: The Dome.

The historic building, which later became South High School, will now be known as the Springfield Center of Innovation: The Dome.

The new name was approved by the Springfield City School District Board of Education Thursday evening.

The district owns the building, which will reopen in August as home to the Global Impact STEM Academy, the Greater Springfield Career ConnectED Center and Clark State Community College’s Food and Bioscience program.

Because the building will house so many different programs under one roof, the school board asked for suggestions from the community to rename the entire complex. A committee of alumni, community members and district employees reviewed more than 70 submissions and presented their top choices to the school board Thursday.

Some other names that were well-received by the committee included variations on the ConnectED Center name, as well as the Legacy Center and The Compass.

But the committee landed on “The Dome,” the signature feature of the building and a long-time south Springfield landmark.

It presented the board with that name and two possible subtitles — Springfield Center of Innovation or the Springfield ConnectED Center.

The board liked “The Dome” for common usage, but chose to make the main name Springfield Center of Innovation because it will make sense and convey purpose to those outside the Springfield community, said Kim Fish, communications consultant for the district.

“We were looking to have something a little more formal,” said Board President Ed Leventhal. “The name indicates and defines what the building will be used for. GISA, ConnectED and Clark State are really doing a wide variety of innovative programs.”

It will be up to the individual entities within the building to determine how they want to incorporate the building name into their titles, Leventhal said.

“GISA might just say, ‘The Global Impact STEM Academy at The Dome,’ ” he said.

The 1909 building, modeled after the Library of Congress, has been undergoing renovation thanks to an $11.3 million state Straight A grant, $1 million awarded to Clark State in the state capital budget and additional money raised by GISA.

The building will officially reopen with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Tours of the building will follow until 6 p.m.

More opportunities to tour and explore the building will be available Aug. 7 from 3-7 p.m. and Aug. 9 from 2-6 p.m.

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