Monday night, the Austin Independent School District Board held a work session where they discussed renaming five sites with names tied to the Confederacy.
"We've been engaging the different school communities that might be affected by this since the fall semester," said Brian Hill, the Special Projects Lead for the Superintendent.
The district said in November that the board was set to discuss the proposal during its meeting. After getting grilled though, Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz admitted the change will happen whether or not the public likes it.
"Since (the November meeting), we've been engaging the community more. We've also done a lot of historical research around when these schools were named – what was the purpose behind the naming. And (Monday's) just another opportunity to discuss the possible renaming of five sites," said Hill.
No action was taken at Monday's meeting. The board will continue taking feedback and discussing the topic through the Feb. 26 Board meeting.
Administrators already met with campus principals and advisory committees at the five campuses: The Allan facility, Fulmore Middle School, Lanier High, Reagan High and Eastside Memorial High at the Johnston campus. The district's agenda stated naming committees would be formed in January, public submissions of names in February and a board vote on the name changes in March.
Austin ISD leaders said during a November meeting of the Board of Trustees that the district will rename five campuses with names tied to the Confederacy by August 2018.
In May 2016, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary to Russell Lee Elementary, a Depression-era photographer and founder of the University of Texas photography department.
"Based off of the (Robert E. Lee Elementary) process, once the Board actually initiates the renaming process, it took about two months to gather name options for the Naming Committee to actually go through the names and make selections. and for those to go back to the Board," said Hill as he discussed a potential timeline.
Austin ISD said the total cost of renaming all five campuses – including signage on buildings, gym floors, marquees and uniforms - is estimated at $322,000.