Four names to be considered tonight for new Amherstburg school

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Trustees with the Greater Essex County District School Board will meet tonight to consider four names for a new school in Amherstburg.

Great Sauk Trail, Southwest Alliance, Southwest Unity and North Star are the names up for consideration at the board meeting.

The naming of the school has been met with controversy as members of a naming committee voted against using the name Amherst or Amherstburg in the school name.

The current high school is named after General Jeffery Amherst, a member of the British Army in the late 1700s, but that name was rejected for the new school over his treatment of indigenous people in Canada.

Trustee Ron LeClair says each name has it's own connection to the Town of Amherstburg.

"It's a significant investment in the community, but whatever the name of the school is, it' doesn't define the town itself," he says.

LeClair says he's hoping the school is able to open in September of next year.

"I'm looking forward to the new school opening and bringing the two school communities together in a brand new facility," he adds.

Amherstburg Town Councillor Michael Prue says he's never seen a controversy for the naming of a school in his 30 years of political life.

"I don't have any problem with anyone saying it's Amherstburg High School, it's in Amherstburg. I don't think the town wants to change its name. But I leave it to the school board, it's why they're elected, it's why they get the big bucks," he says.

The new $24-million high school in Amherstburg is now under construction and is slated to open to students in Fall 2022. It will consolidate students from Western Secondary and General Amherst High School.

 

With files from Rob Hindi