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Official Cost Estimate For Forrest High Name Change Released


The cost of changing the name and mascot at the soon-to-be Westside Senior High School looks to be slightly less than officials originally estimated.Duval County Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said Friday that the new total for the changes came to about $350,000. Originally, school officials estimated the total to be about $400,000.

Members of the district’s facilities department were at the school earlier this week to assess the costs after students voted to change the school’s mascot.

Vitti said district officials needed the school to decide what the mascot and school colors would be before they could determine a new estimate.

On Tuesday, the school voted to change its mascot from the Forrest High Rebels to the Westside Wolverines.

Among the other choices were the Cobras, the Bulls, and the Ravens. According to school officials, the final tally came to 367 votes for the Wolverines, 223 votes for the Cobras, 216 votes for the Bulls, and 146 votes for the Ravens.

Vitti said the school’s colors of red and gray will remain the same.

While $350,000 is the district’s official estimate, actual costs on the project will continue to change as invoices are generated and paid, Vitti said. The district should have a final tally on the  actual cost by the end of the summer.

Last week, school board members agreed to follow the district’s policy of accepting private donations to fund the effort. Those donations will each need to be accompanied by a letter detailing the purpose of the gift.

The remaining balance will be paid out of the district’s general fund.

A local signage company  has already come forward to offer free services to the school’s marquee. Other donations are unclear at this point.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

Rhema Thompson began her post at WJCT on a very cold day in January 2014 and left WJCT to join the team at The Florida Times Union in December 2014.