• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Danville City Council votes to change name of Stonewall Therapy Center | Govt. and politics

The name of Stonewall Therapeutic Center will change to reflect its neighborhood.

Danville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the name of the facility to Camp Grove Recreational Center. It is located on Bradley Road, just off North Main Street in the Camp Grove neighborhood.

“People in this area support the name change,” Vice Mayor Gary Miller said.

Councilman Lee Vogler recalled the push for change that began two or three years ago with Camp Grove residents wanting the facility renamed.

“They’re a proud neighborhood,” Vogler said.

City Attorney Clarke Whitfield pointed out that the city will also need to pass another related ordinance to rename the polling place to reflect the facility’s renaming.

The facility was named after Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, the Confederate general. The Confederacy fought to preserve slavery during the Civil War.

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Jackson is buried in Lexington.

Black leaders had called for the name of the facility to be changed for years.

Tommy Bennett, president of the Danville chapter of the NAACP, and the Reverend William Avon Keen, leader of the Danville chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called for the change.

“It’s a good move,” Bennett said earlier this month. “It’s very, very late, and it’s a good step to bring a lot of those Confederate names to Danville.”

The city formed a subcommittee in September 2020 to address concerns about Confederate monuments and buildings named after prominent Confederates.

The removal of statues of Confederate figures and the renaming of schools increased in 2020 amid Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, and other related incidents.

The city-owned Stonewall Therapeutic Center was formerly Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, which opened in 1915 and closed in 1978. The facility is used by children and adults with disabilities.

In another matter, the city council voted to pass a resolution issuing up to $141 million in general obligation bonds to be paid for building and renovating schools in the Danville Public School Division. The bonds will be funded by proceeds from the 1% local sales tax increase approved by voters in November.

City Manager Ken Larking also presented the proposed $285.6 million budget for 2022-23 to members of council at Tuesday night’s meeting.