• 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.

(Booker T.) Washington School

  • 21 East Leigh Street (Corner First & Leigh Streets)

    Named for Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), the noted colored educator and author, this building was known as Leigh School until June 1909, when its pupils were transferred to Richmond High School. In September, the building was reopened as a colored school to replace the condemned Richmond Colored (High &) Normal School at 12 th & Leigh Streets; at that time it became Armstrong High School.

    The annual report for 1919-20, referring to Armstrong, noted: "A five-room annex will be completed this summer." An addition was built in 1923.

    After Armstrong High School moved into its new building at Prentis & Leigh Streets (1923), an elementary school operated once again from this location under the name of Booker T. Washington. As the enrollment grew, eventually only the sixth and seventh grades were housed th ere. From 1955-61, Booker T. Washington operated as part of Benjamin Graves Junior High School, after which the building was used for special education classes until 1968. Kate J. Cooke School for Negro Boys was housed at Booker T. Washington (1954-63); also the Richmond Trades Training Center (1968-73).

    Booker T. Washington was declared surplus to the City, September 20, 1973.

    Enrollment:
    1923-1924 373
    1954-1955 424 (grades 6-7)

    Architect:
    1923 Charles M. Robinson

    Cost:
    1923 $74,760

    Principals:
    1923-1924 George F. Bennett
    1924-1925 Vernon Jones
    1925-1943 Clyde Busby
    1943-1955 Sylvester C. Booker
    1955-1961 (See Graves)
    1961-1968 Murrell Hampton Winfree (Head Teacher 1961-62)

    See:
    Armstrong High School
    Benjamin A. Graves Middle School
    Leigh School