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Petersburg school board votes to rename 3 Confederate-named schools

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The Petersburg School Board voted Wednesday to rename three elementary schools named for Confederate generals.

The school board had asked for community input as they considered changing the names of J.E.B. Stuart, A.P. Hill, and Robert E. Lee Elementary schools.

The school leaders made the decision Wednesday after a series of public meetings, where residents had a chance to make their voices heard.

School leaders have said “to achieve our mission of developing 21st-century citizens able to effectively collaborate, communicate and innovate” the Confederate names had to be changed.

Effective July 1, 2018, A.P. Hill will be renamed Cool Spring Elementary; Robert E. Lee will be renamed Lakemont Elementary; and J.E.B. Stuart will be renamed Pleasants Lane Elementary.

The estimated cost for the renaming is about $18,000, but the school system has already received the funds for the renaming.

A private citizen donated $20,000 to the school system on January 11 for the anticipated cost.

The estimated cost includes changing lettering on the buildings, updating outdoor signs, replacing the top section of stage curtains, replacing doormats and removing the name from Lee’s gym floor.