By Vanessa Stark 
BELLEVILLE – Gord Downie Secondary School is the most popular choice for a name when two Belleville high schools merge next fall.
The Hastings Prince Edward District School Board  asked the public for suggestions on the new name as long as it had local or national significance. Downie, the lead singer of the popular Canadian band, the Tragically Hip, passed away in October.
In June, the school board decided that Quinte Secondary School will close in at the end of this school year. Students from Quinte will move to Moira Secondary School.
Kerry Donnell, communications officer for the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board, said it will be renamed to ease the transition so students can come together as one unified school community.
“The decision was really that Moira and Quinte would consolidate and the trusties voted to rebrand the existing Moira Secondary School because it would be welcoming a large chunk of the students from Quinte together with the Moira students,” said Donnell.
Over 300 names were submitted and now the board has narrowed it down to the top five.
Special permission from the Downie family would be required in order for the school to use his name.
The other names up for review include Belleville East Secondary School, East Hill Secondary School, East Side High School and Meyers Creek Secondary School.
The decision will go to the board of trusties on Jan. 8, 2018 for its recommendation on the proposed names.