Bedford Training School

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Bedford County constructed the Bedford Training School in 1929-30 as its first public school to provide secondary education for Black students. The State Department of Education’s Division of School Buildings provided architectural plans for the school, which the county expanded in 1939-40 to house additional classrooms in a two-story brick addition at the rear. Bedford Training School became a consolidated elementary school for Black students in 1954, corresponding with the completion of Susie G. Gibson High School. Those renovations—and the opening of a new high school for African American students—represented efforts to uphold the “separate but equal” rationale used to justify segregated schools during the Jim Crow era, and played into Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” counter-movement to federal court rulings that called for desegregating public schools. Designed in the Colonial Revival style, the well-preserved brick school building illustrates the preference in Virginia for a traditional style for educational buildings during the first half of the 20th century. In 1970, the county fully integrated the school, and later repurposed the building for the Bedford County School Board offices.  The Bedford Training School building is located in the town of Bedford.

Last Updated: March 1, 2024

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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