Forrest High students opt for Westside High School name

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Nathan Bedford Forrest High School students have opted for Westside High School as the school's new name, according to the Duval County School District.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti will likely support that choice, a school district spokeswoman said.

Students voted last month on a new name after the Duval County School Board voted the name should be changed. The other option to rename the school was Firestone High School.

Alumni and residents who live near the school also voted last month for the new name.

Vitti will reengage stakeholders to share their thoughts on the new name before making a recommendation to the board at its next meeting on Jan. 7. Under board policy, schools can no longer be named for people.

The new name will be announced officially on Jan. 17. The name change will go into effect in July.

It will cost up to $400,000 to change everything that bears Forrest's name, such as athletic uniforms, signs around the school, the marquis in front of the school, and the gym floor.

Vitti said community groups have offered to pay the cost so it will not come from education funds, though no donations have been made yet. If no money is donated to help with the cost, it would come from the district's capital budget, not from the school.

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