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Nathan B. Forrest High Begins Transition To Westside High

Rhema Thompson

Nathan B. Forrest High School’s physical transformation into Westside High School has begun.Thursday, workers from Farm Out Design Services began work to change the school’s outside facade.

Jim Minion and Ben Weaver, managing partners of the signage business, spent the early part of the afternoon removing the old letters from the building’s exterior.

“This school has had this name since 1959 and now, we’re here to transition to the new name and that’s a big deal for the community,” he said.

Back in January, following the Duval County School Board’s unanimous vote to change the name, Minion offered to donate his company’s services to changing the outside signage.

Since then, he said other local businesses have come on board to donate service to changing the facility’s other signs. 

He said in January he met with the district’s facilities personnel to get an accounting of the costs the total costs of the sign changes. The free removal and installation services on the school’s facade will save the district about $900, he said.

Through the donated services of the other businesses, Minion said the district will ultimately save thousands.

“We were able to put together about $3- or $4,000-worth of donations from the community,” he said.

Forrest High School Principal Gregory Bostic, who was on campus, declined to comment.

Minion said he expects to complete the facade work by the end of the week.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general, slave trader, and among the founding leaders of the Ku Klux Klan.

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.