The Concord Select Board ramped up pressure on elected School Committee members this week to reconsider renaming the Concord Middle School for Ellen Garrison, a local Black woman and Civil War era abolitionist.

The Select Board voted to put the question on a June 25 town-wide ballot, even though the School Committee voted in February against naming the school for Garrison.

Select Board Chair Mary Hartman said a ballot vote — which is non-binding and does not require the School Committee to take action — could help end the fight over the name once and for all.

“This is only going to work if the School Committee and the advocates of naming the school for Garrison agree to abide by the results,” Hartman said Tuesday. “Our vote ... to put this on the ballot was less about what the name of the school should be, but more about how do we instill trust and confidence within the citizens of Concord as far as our elected officials listening.”

The naming of the school has created deep tensions in the town, a wealthy and predominantly white suburb of Boston with buildings named for Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau, among many others. Garrison would be the first Black woman honored on a public edifice.

School Committee Chair Alexa Anderson has defended the Concord Middle School name, calling it courageous and unifying because it doesn’t honor one person, but the community.

“I am optimistic that ... we will find a compelling way to recognize Ellen Garrison at Concord Middle School. I can’t guarantee that, but as chair, I’m very optimistic,” she wrote in an email.

School Committee members previously offered to name another municipal building, the Ripley Administrative Building, after Garrison. The building’s current namesake, Ezra Ripley, was Concord’s first minister.

Hartman said that offer was a ”non-starter“ for the Select Board because the location is not prominent and the facility receives much less foot traffic than the new $104 million middle school, due to open in February.

Michael Williams, a Black medical doctor who raised four children in the town, called the Ripley offer an ”insulting non-starter.“ He said the name change, led by the group Friends of Ellen, would help residents and students of color in the town feel represented and seen.

”The school committee in various guises, asked the town’s permission to build the middle school, asked the town several times to fund the middle school. So this gives the town an opportunity to have their say on what they’d like the school to be named,“ he said. ”It’s still not binding, but it’s another information point for this committee to have as they make their deliberations and hopefully come to the point of naming the school for this remarkable woman.“

Local historians have only recovered Garrison’s legacy in recent years. A daughter of former slaves living in Concord, she attended Concord public schools and later traveled to Southern states at great personal risk during Reconstruction to teach emancipated children to read. During her travels in 1866, she refused to give up her spot at a Baltimore train station and was forcibly removed, nearly a century before Rosa Parks held her ground on an Alabama bus.

The June ballot will be the second time the name will be asked to vote on the school’s name. Earlier this month, the town voted overwhelmingly in favor of renaming the middle school after Garrison in a show of hands vote at Town Meeting. That vote was also non-binding.

Hartman said Tuesday that the board, which also expressed support for the name change, put the decision on the ballot out of concern that the school committee would not take further action on the issue.

The next School Committee meeting is tonight, and can be streamed here.