• Note: Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations. The terms "black," "colored," "Negro," and "white" in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period. Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications.

Binford (Junior High) Middle School

  • 1701 Floyd Avenue
    (Floyd Avenue between Allen Avenue & Vine Street)

    Named for James H. Binford, superintendent of Schools 1870-76 ,Binford opened in September 1915, one of three white junior high schools (Bainbridge, Bellevue, and Binford) organized from the sixth and seventh grades of neighboring schools.

    Binford offered a prevocational program and an open-air gymnasium on the roof. The 1914-15 annual report contains a picture and floor plan of Binford by School Architect Charles M. Robinson. He wrote: "The distinctive feature of this school is the two inclined planes, or ramps, which make it possible to go from the basement to the roof without walking up a single step.their use in school buildings is practically unknown." The framed architect's rendering of the school is displayed in the main corridor; a portrait of Superintendent Binford hangs on the second floor. In 1925, the school auditorium was "much improved" by the purchase of Caprioni casts.

    Binford was crowded almost immediately, and two wings (12 additional rooms) were provided in 1917. In 1924-25, it was necessary to retain the sixth grade in elementary schools. The roof playground was enclosed in 1926, making two "fairly good" gymnasiums, one for boys and one for girls. After the 1920's, a decline in enrollment was experienced, due to the encroachment of business and the movement of colored families into the area south of Main Street. In the 1930's, the City acquired a quarter block for additional playground space. A heating plant was installed in 1953. The cost to repair 1964 fire damage was $80,855.

    In 1989, Binford was awarded "Vanguard" middle school status by the State Department of Education in recognition of its innovative approaches to program design and instruction. A model middle school since 1988, Binford currently operates with a "computer technology" theme.


    1915-1916 1,089 (grades 6-8)
    1922-1923 1,376
    1991-1992 555


    Charles M. Robinson
    (1926) Gymnasium Charles M. Robinson


    $150,000 (approximately)
    (1917 Addition) 60,000 (approximately)


    1951-1970 Richard Lawrence Armistead
    1970-1974 Elizabeth Morrison Wall
    1974-1986 Ronald Lorenzo Carey
    1986-1991 William F. Johnson, Jr.
    1992- William H. Joyner

    Blackwell Annex
    Blackwell Primary
    Dunbar School