At a time when public schools statewide are begging for additional funding, the North East ISD says the cost of changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School to LEE High will cost just under $300,000, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
But a report released at last night's school board meeting says taxpayers are getting a bargain, because had the basic name LEE not been maintained, the cost of the transfer would have been closer to $1.3 million.
Robert E. Lee High School is being renamed Legacy of Educational Excellence High School as of the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
According to the report, obtained by 1200 WOAI news, the costs will include:
$14,000 for changing the wording on the main exterior sign
$5,000 for changing the signage in the athletic lobby and another $5,000 for signage in the lobby of the athletic facility
$5,000 for changing the exterior wall plaques at North East Heroes Stadium, the district's main football venue on Wurzbach Parkway
$18,000 for refinishing the floor in the main gymnasium
$1,000 to remove the ROBERT E. LEE HIGH SCHOOL name from Basse-McCullough Field
Several thousand dollars to replace or redesign cheer squad items, ranging from megaphones, letter jackets, team competition tops, and team garment bags
$20,000 to repaint the band trailer
Additional costs to change items used by debate, debate, orchestra, band, and for the football, tennis, golf, vollleyball, track, softball, basketball and wrestling teams
$15,000 has also been budgeted for a 'Robert E. Lee High School Museum'
In addition, the school district says the schools colors and team nickname of the 'Volunteers' or 'Vols' will continue in use as LEE High School. But the 'Grumpy Gus' character, anything that has the circular 13-star logo, and anything that includes any Confederate references will be removed before the name change takes effect next fall.
In addition, the reference to 'Lee' as the name of the high school will be gradually phased out, according to the plan, to be replaced with the entire new name, Legacy of Educational Excellence High School.
There had been talk about the supporters of the name change raising money to help pay for the costs of the transformation, but it is believed taxpayers will end up bearing the majority, if not all, of these costs.