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With new construction underway, Charlottesville School Board quickly renames Buford to Charlottesville Middle School

Children exit the door of a school made of red brick. The name Buford School is visible on the wall.

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. 

Logo reads "Short & Important"

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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