When Graniteville Elementary opens Aug. 19, it will be one of Aiken County Public Schools' newest, but its logo and mascot will reflect the community's long history and its founder.

With 465 of 568 votes, students, teachers, employees and community members chose a capital “G,” reminiscent of the former Graniteville Company's well-known logo, for the the school's new seal. The school's new mascot, Gregg the Gator, recognizes William Gregg, the company and community's founder.

Gregg supervised the construction of the power canal in Graniteville as part of creating one of the first textile company towns in the South in the 1840s, according to a news release from the school district.

Michelle Padgett (copy)

Michelle Padgett is the principal of the new Graniteville Elementary.

“Planning and envisioning the future of Graniteville Elementary has been an exciting process,” Principal Michelle Padgett said in the release. “Part of the vision for Graniteville Elementary is for it to be a school that embraces families and our community. It was important for us to give our community the opportunity to vote on the branding of our new school.”

On the logo, Gregg the Gator is reading a book with the Graniteville Company “G” on the cover. He is wearing a bow tie, representative of going the extra mile, according to the release.

The corresponding seal incorporates the “G” from the Graniteville Company’s brand. The reeds in the seal are a nod to the wildlife growing along the historic Graniteville Canal.

“I am so glad our school seal includes the signature "G" that represents the foundation of what was once a mill village,” Padgett said. “Gregg the Gator, our new mascot, will also give us the opportunity to ensure that our students remember that William Gregg founded Graniteville and also highly valued education.”

Gregg is known for creating one of the first compulsory education systems in the United States for the children of the employees in his textile mills.

The color blue is used throughout the logo and seal and represents the “blue granite” in Graniteville, according to the release. The color blue also symbolizes wisdom, confidence and intelligence. Green is associated with growth, ambition and youth. Orange represents creativity, determination and success.

“Gregg's bowtie, book and graduation cap exemplify that Graniteville Elementary will be a school of academic excellence that will engage and inspire students from the cradle to college and career,” Padgett said. “Our students will have opportunities to explore and dream about their futures by having experiences with college and career options throughout their schooling.

“Not only will we inspire them to dream about the future but we will also equip them to accomplish their wildest dreams by providing them with exemplary literacy-rich learning experiences. Excellence will be our standard at GVES.”

Several events will welcome students and families to the new Graniteville Elementary before school starts. The schedule of events is as follows:

• 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 1. Ice Cream and Free Book Caravan. School administration and staff members will visit students’ neighborhoods giving away free ice cream and books and offering the opportunity to register via mobile devices. This event is being sponsored by Christian Heritage Church and Follett.

• Noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 8. Registration verification. Students and families can come to the school to complete their online registration, apply for free or reduced lunch and pay school lunch fees.

• 10 a.m. Aug. 10. Ribbon cutting and school tour.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 15. Meet the teacher. Students and families can meet their teachers for the upcoming school year.

• 7:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Aug. 19. First day of school.

• 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 29. Open house and PTO meeting. Families can visit the school, tour classes and participate in the school’s establishment of a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

For more information, visit www.acpsd.net/GVES.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.