Changing Germantown School Names Causing Confusion On Both Sides - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Changing Germantown School Names Causing Confusion On Both Sides

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (FOX13) - The city of Germantown's proposed lease agreement with the Shelby County School System, where SCS could lease the city-owned sports fields in exchange for changing the names of the 3 G-schools, had many asking why the game changing move.

Now it's Germantown leaders asking why.

MORE: SCS Must Change School Names To Use Athletic Fields

Wednesday, SCS Board Member David Reaves told FOX 13, "One day we hope to potentially give the three Gs back, and I don't think that the things that have been going on with the money for the GHS-TV and this request is helping."

Germantown's City Administrator Patrick Lawton and Superintendent Jason Manuel told FOX 13 they have not heard of such agreement.

"I will tell you that is brand new news. We have never heard that before, that has never been presented, that has never been considered," said Lawton.

"I had not heard that they were planning on giving the schools back to us. I would love to take those three schools," said Manuel, "I think it's important to SCS to use that name, that tradition to draw quality students to Germantown High School, Middle and Elementary so I see their unwillingness to change that name."

The Germantown Municipal School District is not a part of the proposed lease agreement; essentially they are a just a third-party beneficiary, getting the school name changes.

"When we talk to people, they say, 'Don't you have Germantown High School, Middle School and Elementary?' and we have to explain the whole process of the fact that Shelby County kept those three schools," said Manuel, a Germantown High School alum.

The city of Germantown drafted the proposal to aid this confusion by state leaders as well as residents moving into Germantown.

Lawton said this lease agreement is like any other they make with other schools and organizations leasing the Germantown-owned sports fields; the school names changes is an added value.

MORE: Facility usage agreement

"Yes, there will be a nominal fee for the use of the facilities," said Lawton, "But to help facilitate this and give them exclusive use, we would like for them to help us clear up the confusion and drop the name 'Germantown' from the three schools."

Manuel said from his experience with forming the municipal school district, he knows changing the names of schools is not an easy task; he once considered changing the names of Houston High and Middle Schools.

"The sign outside of Houston High School, for example, is a $30,000 sign," he said, "The gym floors having to be refinished is going to be a big cost."

He added the price also depends on how fast the changes need to be made. The lease agreement gives SCS a year, until July 1, 2015, to make the changes.

There is no deadline on when the proposal needs to be finalized. One thing SCS and Germantown agree on: It needs to be resolved quickly in time for the school sports season to start.

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