Ramsay High School

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Ramsay High School
BCS small logo.png Birmingham City Schools
Years 1930present
Location 1800 13th Ave. S., (map)
Five Points South
Grades 9-12
Principal Carolyn Russell-Walker
Enrollment 758 (2014)
Colors royal blue & white
Mascot Rams
Website bhamcityschools.org

Erskine Ramsay High School (originally Southside High School, later Erskine Ramsay Technical High School) is a large magnet International Baccalaureate high school serving over 700 students in the Birmingham City Schools system. It is situated between 12th and 13th Avenues South and 17th and 19th Streets South. The school's site, on a ridge north of the crest of Red Mountain near Five Points South was in the midst of Nabob Hill, a neighborhood claiming many of Birmingham's prominent pioneer families.

The school was designed by the firm of Warren Knight and Davis with William B. Ittner of St Louis, Missouri as consulting architect. The ambitious design called for massive multi-story facades facing north and south with lofty wings for a cafeteria and auditorium and expansive terraces. Only the south-facing portion of the central building was constructed originally. It's red-brick walls are accented with limestone quoins and window surrounds. The gabled roof is capped with a slender white cupola.

The school was dedicated on September 19, 1930. It was soon named for Erskine Ramsay, a noted industrialist who was serving as president of the Birmingham Board of Education at the time. Most of the first group of 568 students were transferred from the Paul Hayne School, then serving as an "opportunity school", providing vocational programs for high-school age students. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited Ramsay in 1932.

An auditorium and athletic facilities were constructed in 1949. A flat-roofed annex was added onto the main building in 1962. When Ullman High School was closed in 1970, its students were transferred to Ramsay.

In 1975 Ramsay became a magnet school, serving average and above average students from throughout the city. The following August, additional programs were added to the curriculum, forming Ramsay Alternative High School.

$21 million worth of renovations and additions to the school's campus were completed in time for the start of the 2009-10 academic year, including a new science wing and competition gym with space for the school's ROTC program, counseling office, and cafeteria. After construction was completed the 1962 "flat top" annex was demolished to make way for expansion of the school's courtyard and parking lot.

In 2011, Ramsay was made the sole exception to Superintendent Craig Witherspoon's plan to establish career academies in the city's high schools. It remained a magnet high school with a college preparatory curriculum. In February 2013 Witherspoon announced that the school's 11th and 12th grades were admitted into the International Baccalaureate diploma program.

In 2018 the band room was named in honor of long-time band director Edward Crenshaw. The school's yearbook is called the Ram's Horn.

On May 4, 2021 a fire engulfed part of the east side of the gymnasium around 10 pm. No classrooms were affected, but the gym was closed due to smoke and water damage.

Alma Mater

On the city's southern border
Stands the school we love;
Hearts aglow and voices raised
send her praise above
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
Faithful we will be;
Long we'll love thee, Ramsay High School
And be true to thee.


Notable Alumni


External links

BCS small logo.png Birmingham High Schools

Carver High School | Jackson-Olin High School | Huffman High School | Parker High School | Ramsay High School | Wenonah High School | Woodlawn High School