Berry High School
|W. A. Berry High School|
|District||Jefferson County (196?–1988)|
|Colors||Orange & black|
|Location||2826 Columbiana Rd, (map)|
W. A. Berry High School is a former school in the Hoover City Schools system. The campus is located at 2826 Columbiana Road near the Vestavia Hills city limit.
Berry School, named for former Jefferson County Board of Education president and Howard College trustee William Andrew Berry, was originally an elementary school built by the Jefferson County Schools system. Hoover formed its own school system in 1988 and took over the campus as the city's sole high school.
The school's athletic teams were the Buccaneers, wearing orange and black. The school's newspaper was "The Crow's Nest" and its yearbook was called The Caravel. The school's football stadium was named for head coach Bob Finley in 1979. That same year a group of boys stole the "Big Boy" statue from Shoney's Big Boy at Hoover Mall and hauled it onto the roof of the school.
A large-scale tile mosaic on what became known as the "Mural Building" was designed by art student and senior class president Kerry Buckley.
In 1994, Berry High was closed and the students were moved to the new Hoover High School. The campus became home to Berry Middle School until May 2006 when its new campus off of Valleydale Road near Spain Park High School was opened. The former campus has been used since then mainly for recreational sports leagues in the gymnasium and on the playing fields.
In October 2007 the city of Vestavia Hills and Shades Mountain Christian School made a joint offer on the school campus. SMCS would occupy the school buildings while the city would use the athletic fields. The offer expired on December 21 without a decision from the Hoover School Board.
In January 2008 Hoover superintendent of schools Andy Craig presented various long-range plans. One of them included the possibility of re-opening the campus as a middle school feeding into Hoover High School. That spring, the campus was announced as the temporary home of Shades Mountain Elementary School for the 2008-09 school year, while that school was being renovated.
In 2016 the school was sold to the Vestavia Hills Board of Education and the property was de-annexed by the City of Hoover.
- Andy Andrews, comedian and motivational author
- Murry Bartow, basketball coach at East Tennessee State University and formerly at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Jeff Brantley, baseball pitcher, former ESPN baseball analyst, current Cincinnati Reds analyst
- Dyer Carlisle III, educator and high school and college football coach
- Mike Kolen, Miami Dolphins linebacker
- Stan White, Auburn University quarterback
- Daniel Moore, 1972, sports artist
- Heather Whitestone, 1995 Miss America
- "Missing 'Big Boy' turns up on campus at Berry." (April 24, 1979) The Birmingham News
- Stock, Erin and Tiffany Ray (December 21, 2007) "Berry school offer is likely to expire." The Birmingham News
- Ray, Tiffany (January 18, 2008) "Hoover may revive Berry campus as middle school." The Birmingham News
- Ray, Tiffany (August 8, 2008) "Berry campus in Hoover temporarily reopens as elementary school." The Birmingham News
- Drexel, Keysha (June 25, 2013) "Efforts Underway to Preserve Berry School Artwork." Over the Mountain Journal
- W.A.Berry/Hoover High School football history from ahsfhs.org website