Story and photos by Doug Petrowski
When someone mentions the “Hawk Way” at Mountlake Terrace High School, it may be a reference to a loyalty to the school, or determination when competing, or tolerance when dealing with others. But soon, Hawk Way may also refer to the roadway that encircles the high school’s campus.
The Mountlake Terrace City Council began discussing at its M1y 31 work/study session the merits of changing the name of the roadway that enters and exits the MTHS campus.
Although the road onto campus is not a public thoroughfare, the city has labeled it 217th Street SW with a street sign on the traffic signal arm mast at 44th Avenue West. That street sign, along with 62 others on overhead traffic light supports around the city, are being replaced due to a 2011 federal mandate. The new street signs will have improved reflectivity, increased font size and uniform standards.
Shane Hope, the city’s Community and Economic Development director, told the council that since the street sign must be changed anyway, this may be the perfect time to rename the roadway. “With council approval, ‘Hawk Way’ could get a new street name sign and a naming ceremony could be arraigned with the school district.”
“I think it’s a wonderful idea to change the name,” said Mayor Pro Tem and MTHS alumnus Laura Sonmore, “to have the high schoolers feel that it is their own. There’s a sense of pride in that. I think it’s an excellent idea.”
City officials credit an unnamed parent of a MTHS student with the idea of renaming the roadway Hawk Way.
“I like the idea of the Hawk Way or renaming it Hawk something,” said Councilmember Doug McCardle. “I can support that. I would like to see us move forward in the fall with the school district.”
The council did discuss other combinations of names such as Hawk Lane and Hawk Boulevard. Hawk Way seemed to be the consensus choice of council members.
The school’s address wouldn’t change, for it has a 44th Avenue West address.
Hope said the city will contact the Edmonds School District for consultation concerning the name change.
The roadway around Mountlake Terrace High School wasn’t the only change discussed at the May 31 meeting. City officials may consider changing the name of 56th Avenue West through the downtown core of Mountlake Terrace to “Main Street.” Hope said that “Main Street” has “historic and cultural appeal,” and is a common name for primary downtown streets.
The roadway into the Gateway Place business district off 244th Street Southwest was also considered for future changes. City officials have tentative plans to extend that privately-owned road north along the east side of I-5 through the old Evergreen Elementary School site and connecting it with 236th Street Southwest at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. If those plans come to fruition, the thoroughfare may receive an official designation of “Gateway Place” or “Gateway Boulevard.”