Construction still is months away, but the new middle school planned for the Robert R. Martin Bypass now has a name.

The Madison County School Board voted unanimously Thursday to name the building in honor of the late Superintendent B. Michael Caudill, who died Dec. 21 after a long battle with cancer.

The construction of the school, which will be on the campus of Glenn R. Marshall Elementary, likely will begin in late spring and be open to students in the fall of 2009.

“Middle schools were Mike’s love,” said board member Doug Whitlock, who made the motion to name the school in Caudill’s honor. “That’s where he started. That’s where he taught. That’s where he was principal. That’s where his heart always was.”

Before becoming superintendent in 2001, Caudill taught math and served as principal at Foley Middle School.

Whitlock said he would like to have the Caudill family’s blessing on the exact name for the building.

“Whether is be B. Michael Caudill or Billy Michael Caudill or Mike Caudill, I would like to have their input on that,” he said. “They would know best, I think, what Mike’s wishes would have been.”

At the beginning of the board meeting, the first since Caudill’s death, Board Chair Betsy Bohannon dedicated the meeting to Caudill.

“It is so appropriate that we honor him this way,” she said about the name of the new middle school.

There will never be enough ways to honor Caudill’s memory, said Board Vice Chair Becky Coyle.

“This school is the least we can do,” she said before Bohannon added that the family is working to establish a Mike’s Kids scholarship fund and plans are under way to organize a golf tournament and possibly a triathlon in Caudill’s name.

Newest board member Glyn Green said people always ask why buildings are named after superintendents.

“As far as the kids in this county go, who has a more positive impact than the superintendent, especially in a well-run school system,” he said. “Personally, I can’t come up with anyone to compete with B. Michael Caudill as far as it being appropriate.”

Bryan Marshall can be reached at bmarshall@richmondregister.com or 624-6691.

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