Leeds High School
|Leeds High School|
|District||Leeds City Schools|
|Enrollment||c. 400 (2009)|
|Colors||Green and White|
|Location||1500 Green Wave Drive|
The school was established in 1911 by the Jefferson County School System. A two-story brick building was constructed for $10,000 at Parkway Drive (then called First Avenue South) and Montevallo Road. After the completion of additional classrooms for elementary grades in 1914, the school absorbed the pupils of the Leeds Academy, which closed that year.
The first athletic teams included a basketball club which debuted on Thanksgiving Day in 1914, and a football team, then called "The Leeders", which took the field in 1923 under head coach N. B. Breland. A girl's basketball team began playing the next year.
Ground was broken for a new school building in 1925. It opened the next year to great acclaim, but was damaged in a fire in 1928 and had to be almost entirely rebuilt. The Works Progress Administration constructed a second wood frame multi-function building with a small auditorium and library in 1933. In 1938 a permanent auditorium and gymnasium was added onto the school. The basement of that building began serving as a cafeteria in 1939.
In 1954 Leeds High School relocated to the former Stadium School on Whitmire Street, which had been constructed in 1948 to serve the children of workers on the Southern Railroad. The 1926 building was demolished in 1966 to make way for a new Leeds Elementary School. Leeds High School and the previously all-Black Moton School were integrated in 1973. The high school was air-conditioned in 1977, along with the construction of a new gymnasium and classroom wing.
Beginning in 2010 the 9-acre grassy area in front of the school was re-landscaped as the Greenwave EcoScape, with outdoor classrooms, fruit and vegetable gardens and greenhouses, a Memorial Plaza, butterfly garden and flowing creek. The $500,000 project was designed by Macknally-Ross Land Design with assistance from the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College and is expected to be completed by 2015.
- Owen Drake, (1955), state representative
- Charles Barkley (1981), basketball player
- Wendy Jarvis (1983) gallery owner
- Joe Lee, mayor of Moody
- Eddie Martin, baseball player
- Leeds Bicentennial Commission History Committee (1979) Leeds: Her Story. Leeds: Leeds Bicentennial Commission/Higginbotham, Inc.
- Coman, Victoria L. (September 1, 2010) "Leeds High School transforming campus into Greenwave Ecoscape." Birmingham News
- Leeds High School website