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New Castle High School to Drop Chrysler Name

Four years after Chrysler LLC sold its New Castle plant, school officials have voted to drop the Chrysler name from the city's high school.

The New Castle Community School Board voted 3-2 Monday night to change the name of New Castle Chrysler High School to simply New Castle High School.

Board member Rod Shone, a former Chrysler employee, voted for the name change.

"My opinion is it makes no difference to me," he said. Shone said his two children, both graduates of the school, told him, "if you have to make a decision, change it."

The name change will take place after the current freshman class graduates in 2011. Their class rings, yearbooks and diplomas will be the last ones to bear the Chrysler name.

The school was named Walter P. Chrysler Memorial High School in honor of the company's founder when it opened in 1958. The board voted to change the name to New Castle High School in 1979, only to change that decision a month later and rename the building New Castle Chrysler High School.

Metaldyne bought the New Castle Machining and Forge plant in the city about 40 miles east of Indianapolis from DaimlerChrysler in December 2003.