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Bishop Heelan road named after Harry Potter reference

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SIOUX CITY -- Well, there you are, boy. Platform nine -- platform ten. Your platform should be somewhere in the middle, but they don't seem to have built it yet, do they?"

Platform 9 3/4 is a popular Harry Potter reference that is recognizable to who have read the books or seen the movies, and even those who haven't.

Now, it is the name of Bishop Heelan High School's front oval drive.

For the first time, Bishop Heelan auctioned off the opportunity to name the "oval drive" outside of the high school. The winner could choose anything, such as a family or business name, but auction winner H - who wants to remain anonymous - wanted to do something more interesting. 

H said the family wanted to set a different precedent than the name of the family. They wanted to have something fun and quirky, with a literary or lyrical reference. 

All of the children in the family read the Harry Potter books and the whole family has seen the movies.

In the story a crowd of wizarding children enter a metal barrier between platforms nine and ten every year on Sept. 1.

Platform nine and three-quarters is where the Hogwarts Express is and where parents drop their children off for the next term of wizarding school.

H said it is the perfect name for a high school drop-off spot.

Though the seven books in the series were released between 1997 and 2007, they have remained a popular read for middle and high school students. 

Ashley Locke is an English teacher at Bishop Heelan and is a fan of the series. When the movies were released, she saw them with her little brother, who had to explain what was happening. Once the pair were halfway through the movies, she decided to start reading the books.  

During the COIVD-19 pandemic, Locke said she missed seeing kids so she started a book club for high school students in the community, and they read all seven books, concluding with a themed party in her backyard. 

The class is currently reading "To Kill a Mockingbird," and Locke talks about Harry Potter and connects the two books. 

Both H and Locke said the series is a coming of age story with lessons on friendship, strength and believing in yourself. 

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