New Oxford elementary school to be named “Central Elementary”

The newest building in the Oxford School District will hold historical significance. During Monday’s school board meeting the new elementary school was officially named Central Elementary School. The school had been referred to as Oxford Elementary during construction, which started earlier this month, until having its official name determined.

The name comes from the former Central High School that stood where the new elementary school is currently being constructed at 409 Washington Avenue. Central was Oxford’s African-American school pre-integration and will have its place in history with the new 88,000 square foot elementary school bearing its name.

“Honoring the history of this property is important to the residents of our city and it is important to our district,” Oxford superintendent Brian Harvey said during Monday’s meeting. “Many residents still refer to this property as ‘Central’ so it makes the most sense.”

After integration, Central became Oxford Junior High and then an elementary school that was also called Central Elementary School that housed fifth and sixth grades.

During demolition of the old building, construction workers salvaged two pallets of bricks that the school district will make available to the public free of charge. The bricks will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis and the school district will provide information about when and where those bricks can be picked up at a later date.

“My hope is that graduates and/or family members of Central High School take a brick as a keepsake if they are interested,” OSD public information officer Heather Lenard said.

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