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New name suggestions wanted for historic Mount Vernon High School

Fairfax County is seeking public input on a new name and brand for Original Mount Vernon High School ahead of its redevelopment.

The county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services recently launched a survey that asks community members to consider feelings evoked by a new name, inspirations for the new name and themed word pairings.

The survey is available in English, Spanish and Arabic, and responses will be accepted until this Sunday, Feb. 11.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck says the Board of Supervisors doesn’t have any names in mind for the former school, which is being turned into a community facility, so the survey will help inform the decision-making process.

“[People] can think a bit more focused about the building itself and what its plans are,” Storck said. “We’re truly looking for input…The only name we have is one nobody wants to keep.”

Built in 1939, the Original Mount Vernon High School is listed as a historic place on both the state and national registers, but Fairfax County started exploring options to reuse the building at 8333 Richmond Highway once the long-term lease was vacated in 2016.

Following a master plan finalized in 2019, the county is turning the 84-year-old building into an accessible public facility with teen and senior centers, a gym and early childhood programs as well as educational programs to support workforce development, business incubation spaces, visual/performing arts programs and event spaces.

According to the county’s webpage for the project, the survey is intended to “ensure the new name and brand reflect the vibrancy of the community.”

“Your responses will help [the county] understand the priorities, values and preferences of [the] community and help us develop a new brand identity and name that are appealing to the entire community,” the project webpage reads.

Storck encouraged everyone in the county to take the survey.

“The county overall is funding [the project],” Storck said. “There are lots of folks who used to live in the district who have connections and still visit here.”

Rendering via Fairfax County

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