Jones Valley High School

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Jones Valley High School
BCS small logo.png Birmingham City Schools
Years 19211988
Location 2000 31st Street Southwest, (map)
Grades 9-12
Principal A. E. Driggers
Enrollment 1000± (1988)
Colors black and gold
Mascot Brownies

Jones Valley High School (JVHS) is a former high school built by the Jefferson County Schools system and later annexed into Birmingham City Schools. The school colors were black and gold and the athletic teams were called the "Brownies".

The school began as a 23-room combined high school and Jones Valley Elementary School in a 23-room brick building on a 5-acre site in Powderly. It replaced the former Powderly Elementary School which had been founded in 1884 as a private school named Sunnyside Academy.

Construction of the school began after a fire destroyed the former school. The site was purchased for $7,000 and $189,496 was spent on the new building which housed classrooms for 850 students as well as an auditorium and lunchroom. The school opened in the fall of 1921 with Charles E. Harrison as principal. Nine seniors who had started 9th grade at Bessemer High School were the first to graduate from Jones Valley in the class of 1922.

In 1928 five acres of land across the road from the school was purchased from the Jones Valley Land Company for a playground and athletic fields. In 1932 increases in the student body forced the conversion of the former lunchroom space for classes. Principal C. W. Phillips proposed that a new framed lunchroom be constructed, for which he served as architect and contractor, securing an agreement for Miller Brothers Construction Company to furnish labor for a total cost of $265 in order to keep their workers busy during the Great Depression. The lumber and equipment cost another $1,000.

In the 1940s the elementary school classes moved to a 12-room brick building adjacent to the high school. A dedicated library was constructed in the school in 1951.

On January 1, 1953 Jones Valley became part of Birmingham City Schools, though Jefferson County buses still transported students from Lipscomb, Shannon, Midfield and Wilkes.

"Help Us Rebuild Jones Valley High School" emblem

On November 11, 1961 a 19-year-old student set fire to the school, destroying it. Ground was broken for a new building on October 7, 1962 with dedication following almost exactly one year later, on October 6.

In 1988 the Birmingham Board of Education converted the school into Jones Valley Middle School.


Notable graduates


(Roper bases his history on an article by Herman W. King in the February 14, 1962 Birmingham News.)

External links