Come 2025, Buford Middle School will be renamed Charlottesville Middle School.
The Charlottesville City School board unanimously decided to rename the city’s only middle school. The name change will be implemented once construction of the new school is complete, and seventh and eighth graders attend the new facility in the 2025-2026 school year.
“It’s not going to happen immediately. What is happening immediately is the design work,” said Kim Powell, chief operations officer for City Schools.
Throughout the next six to 12 months, the school system will work on signage and shifting the name to Charlottesville Middle School.
Superintendent Royal Gurley presented the idea to the School Board shortly after securing funding for the much-anticipated, $93 million middle school reconfiguration project. After years of trying to find funding, Charlottesville City Council voted to allocate more than $75 million from the capital improvement budget to City Schools to pay for the construction. Shortly after, the school obtained a $17.6 million grant from the Virginia Department of Education.
The school system broke ground earlier in June.
The name change could be delayed if construction is prolonged for any reason, said Powell.
Buford is named after Florence De Launey Buford, a longtime Charlottesville educator. In 1931, she served as the first principal of George Rogers Clark School (now Summit Elementary School) after working as a history teacher at the all-white Lane High School four years prior, according to research compiled by a local historian that City Schools is using to inform the name changes.
Earlier this year, City Schools decided to stop naming its schools after a person.
“Our commitment is to no longer name schools after people,” said LaShundra Morsberger, a school board member.
Buford Middle School is the third school to be renamed. The Charlottesville School Board voted to change the name of Venable and Clark Elementary Schools to Trailblazer and Summit Elementary respectively.
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More about Buford Middle School
As City Schools begins rebuilding Buford Middle School, the superintendent wants it to have a new name
Royal Gurley has asked the School Board to rename it Charlottesville Middle School.
The Virginia Department of Education grant closes up the gap Charlottesville needed to complete funding for Buford Middle School project.
Construction is expected to continue until 2026.
City Council supports the much-needed Buford Middle School rebuild, but must raise taxes or delay other projects to do it
It’s possible to fund the school renovations without raising taxes — but that could mean postponing things like sidewalk repairs, road paving, and new affordable housing projects.
House committee’s rejection of local sales tax bill could throw Charlottesville’s Buford Middle School reconfiguration project into jeopardy
A subcommittee in the General Assembly killed three House bills Friday that could help fund Charlottesville’s school reconfiguration project. Delegates will get a second chance to approve similar bills later this month.
VMDO has the contract to design a reconfigured Buford and Walker. But why are the schools like that in the first place?
In 1966, Buford and Walker opened as individual junior high schools, but just over a decade after the schools’ grand opening, community perception evolved to view Buford as inferior to Walker.
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