Eliminating the Native American mascot logo from Fresno High’s stationery, signs, uniforms, floors, a theater curtain, and more could cost $400,000, according to a Fresno Unified staff report.
The report said that dollar figure is “preliminary.”
But Bullard Area Trustee Terry Slatic said the reported estimate is significantly lower than estimates he previously heard being discussed in administration offices that put the cost to replace the mascot logo much higher — $1.1 million.
Slatic told GV Wire℠ on Monday that he is reminded of other “preliminary” estimates, such as Boston’s “Big Dig” project, that wound up costing taxpayers billions of dollars more.
Slatic cast the lone no vote when the School Board voted 6-1 in December to keep the mascot name Warrior but to replace the cartoon image of a Native American man with another logo.
Logo Under Fire
The board’s vote was the culmination of a community campaign to recognize the negative impact that the logo has had on indigenous peoples, including Fresno High students.
At the time, the board also discussed other schools in the district that have Native American-themed mascots and logos.
According to the staff report by Chief Operating Officer Karin Temple, the Fresno High mascot logo is on athletic uniforms, band uniforms and the band trailer, the Warrior Park stone monument, building floors and entry carpets, the gym floor and scoreboards, signage at sports facilities and parking areas, the Royce Hall theater curtain header, interior and exterior banners, and the school marquee at Palm and McKinley avenues.
Funds to pay for the logo replacement will come from the district’s general fund, which is used for a multitude of district expenses that include salaries and facilities needs, Slatic said.
He said he considers it noteworthy that no trustee asked about the potential costs of changing the logo before the vote was taken in December.
Commitment to Change
Board president Valerie Davis said Monday she had not read Temple’s report on the preliminary cost estimate. When told that it’s $400,000, her response was “wow!”
But Davis said she and other trustees knew there would be a financial cost when voting to change the mascot logo, so if the estimate is $400,000, “that’s what it costs.”
District staff did not respond Monday morning to questions from GV Wire℠ about the costs of changing logos at other schools and whether town meetings will be scheduled; the funding source to pay for the logo changes; and the apparent discrepancy in district estimates to change Fresno High’s mascot logo.
Meanwhile, Fresno High officials are in the process of deciding on a new logo.