West Fargo's third middle school and high school will soon have their own mascot and school colors after the West Fargo School Board narrowed suggestions by students to two choices each.

Students will vote for either Hawks or Rams as a mascot and school colors of black and gold or black and silver after the school board narrowed down a list of eight possible mascots and six color combinations to two choices for students to now vote on. The middle school and high school will use the same mascot and color combination.

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The choices will be returned to students who will now vote on the two options. The school board will finalize the mascot and colors at its April 22 meeting.

In February, the school board decided to allow fourth- through seventh-grade students at Deer Creek Elementary, Horace Elementary and Legacy Elementary who would attend Heritage Middle School and West Fargo Horace High School to submit their choices of mascots and school colors.

Those choices were then narrowed by a community committee. The committee submitted to the board a list of mascots that included Bulldogs, Panthers, Hawks, Rams, Wolverines, Thunder and Pioneers.

Board Member Jim Jonas said Hawks was a top choice of students. "I like them all, they are all powerful logos," Jonas said.

"There's nothing mousy about them, I like that," said Board President Patti Stedman.

District Spokeswoman Heather Leas said the committee took note that the mascot of Independence Elementary School is a bulldog, but the committee felt it was still a strong choice since that mascot belonged to an elementary school.

The board chose between the color combinations of navy blue and silver; navy blue and white; black and old gold; black and silver; or purple and silver.

"They definitely stayed away from green and white and blue and orange," said Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Allen Burgad. "The committee felt those colors would go with any mascot the board would select."

Burgad said that community members took into consideration whether other schools across the state have similar colors and mascots as well as what they might cost.

Construction of the two new schools to alleviate overcrowding at West Fargo High School, Sheyenne High School, Cheney Middle School and Liberty Middle School was made possible by the $106.9 million referendum passed by voters in September. The 900-capacity middle school will begin construction this spring to open by fall 2020. In 2020, construction on the new high school will begin.

Grades six through nine will be housed at the new middle school as soon as it opens in 2020. In 2021, when the new high school opens, it will begin with just grades nine and 10.

During the 2022-23 school year, grades nine through 11 will be at the new high school, and in 2023-24, grades nine through 12 will be at the school, with the first graduating class of 2024.