Gate City Elementary School

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Gate City Elementary School
Active 19152011
School type Public
District Birmingham City Schools
Grades 1-5
Location 6910 Georgia Road, (map)

Gate City Elementary School was an elementary school in the Birmingham City Schools system located at 6910 Georgia Road in the Gate City neighborhood of the East Lake community. The first school building was erected in 1914. It was originally named Weatherly School for City Commissioner James Weatherly. An addition was made to the building in 1924. Georgia Road was paved in 1932, and sidewalks added. Another building addition was completed in 1948.

Enrollment gradually dwindled, until the Marks Village public housing community opened in 1952. That fall the school experienced a sudden surge in enrollment from 199 to 553 students. Caught unprepared for the scale of the influx, the system quickly hired new teachers and borrowed space from the nearby Mount Mariah Missionary Baptist Church. A new school building, built in phases so as to allow classes to continue, was completed in 1955, big enough to accommodate the more than 700 children then enrolled.

In 1957 neighborhood leaders complained that students were playing in an open drainage ditch behind the school which had been identified as a nuisance and possible source of hepatitis by the Jefferson County Health Department. They asked the Birmingham City Commission to cover it, but Commissioner J. T. Waggoner Sr informed them that the city could only afford such projects if the neighborhood raised half the cost themselves.

Under the school consolidation plan proposed by acting superintendent Barbara Allen and approved by the Board of Education, Oliver Elementary School closed in the summer of 2008, with students transferring into Gate City Elementary. It was later decided to rebuild Oliver Elementary and transfer Gate City's students.