Buford Schools History

Photo credits to the Museum of Buford and contributing community members
 
 
A History of Buford City Schools
 
 
From its earliest days, Buford has always been proud of its commitment to education, and with good reason. Its very first school was held in a log cabin for three months during the summer of 1870, and again in 1871. Twenty-five students  from six families attended the dirt floored classroom, each family contributing to the teacher's pay. In 1872 the school was moved to a more substantial building on what is now New Street, and within a year the number of students had gown to 50.  In 1884, a brick educational building known as The Academy, was built at the north end of Spring Street. Professor W.N. Nunn was first named co-principal of The Academy in 1900, and eventually became Superintendent of Schools.  By 1906, with the student body numbering nearly 150, the need for an even larger school was evident and a two story brick structure was built near the Buford Cemetery on what is now Little Mill Road and Jackson Streets. Sometimes referred to as the City School, it housed both grammar and high school classes, grades 1-11 (a twelfth grade wasn't introduced until later). In 1919 and 1924 extensions and an additional building were added to increase classroom space, and finally in 1926 a separate auditorium was built. The auditorium became a cultural center for all of Buford's citizens, and lectures, debates and concerts were held there for many years. Today only the auditorium still stands. At the end of WWII, school enrollment had reached 575 and the need for both more space and separate facilities for different age groups became obvious.  In 1950 a new high school named after Bona Allen was built on Hill Street for the 7th through 12th grades, with the addition of a large gymnasium in 1951. For a time, K-6 classes continued in the old building near the cemetery until a new elementary school was built near the Bona Allen school in 1956. At that point total enrollment for all grades was just over 800 students. Beginning in the early 1950s vocational classes were conducted for returning veterans at the high school, and Adult Education programs continued there for many years. The Buford school system has always operated as an independent entity, and was established as such by state legislation in 1912.    The first black school was established in 1890 near North Hill Street, and new schools were built or relocated to upgraded facilities  in 1906 and 1920.  Enrollment continued to grow and, in the 1950s, 215 of Buford's black children attended the newly erected school on Bona Road. In 1977, the Buford Comprehensive High School (known as just Buford High School) was built on a 10-acre tract of land that had once been part of the Bona Allen estate. Modern classrooms, a larger faculty, a 500 seat auditorium and regulation sized basketball court were all just a small part of the improvements that were implemented for the new school. The Bona Allen School was renovated in 1979 and became the middle school and new classrooms were added to the elementary school. As with Buford schools in the past, the adequacy of these campuses were once again outstripped by the swiftly growing population of the town, and a new Buford High was built on Sawnee Avenue, holding its first classes in 1990. In 2000 a new Academy was built to house students in grades 3-5 to relieve over-crowding at the Elementary school. Within a few years there continued to be such growth that the 2nd grade students were moved to the Academy and expansions were made to the existing Elementary.  In 2019, Buford High School opened its current, state of the art facility on Buford Highway that has a Performing Arts building, an Academic building and an Athletic building as well as a variety of practice fields. This expansion allowed for a re-distribution and development of a new Senior Academy. The Elementary now houses only the Kindergarten program. The Academy is home to grades 1-3. The new Senior Academy, which resides in the former middle school, hosts students in grades 4 & 5. The Middle School was re-located to the former High School address with students in grades 6-8, as the new High School opened its campus on Buford Highway. As of 2019-2020 there are five schools in the Buford City School System. The Buford City School System schools is committed to the the highest standards of education for Buford's youth, and continues to rank among the highest school systems in the state.