• 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.

Graves (Benjamin A.) Junior High / Middle School

  • 119 West Leigh Street
    (Corner Prentis & Leigh Streets)

    In 1952, Armstrong High School moved from this location to Church Hill .The building was converted to a junior high school and renamed to honor "Captain" Benjamin Graves, a highly respected citizen and teacher at Valley School.

    When new in 1923, the thirty-classroom, three-story building was occupied by Armstrong. (The 1922-23 annual report includes picture and floor plan of the school by school architect Charles M .Robinson .) A 1928 addition was built at the rear of the school when it housed Armstrong. In 1968, the location was expanded by the demolition and removal of buildings on 35 adjoining parcels of property. Mechanical improvements (heating) were made in 1962.

    Like its predecessor, Graves School also used the Monroe Building and the Monroe gymnasium (across Leigh Street). From 1955-1961, an annex of Graves School was housed at Booker T. Washington School.

    Graves Middle School was discontinued in June 1981, and the students were relocated to Maggie Walker. The Adult Career Development Center has operated in this building since 1983.


    1952-1953 - 1,125 (grades 7-9)
    1955-1956 - 1,491 (grades 7-9)
    1980-1981 - 585 (grades 6-8)


    1923 Charles M. Robinson
    1928 Addition Charles M. Robinson

    1923 - $181,923
    1928 Addition - $108,607
    1962 - $87,123

    1952-1954 Charles J. Foster
    1954-1970 James Arthur Brinkley, Jr. (Acting ,1954-56)
    1970-1972 Maynard Kenneth Bean (Acting ,1970-71)
    1972-1976 James Arthur Brinkley, Jr.
    1976-1978 Robert Edward Marchant
    1978-1981 Timothy Enfield Woodward

    Armstrong High School
    Monroe School