Covering nearly 18 acres and situated atop a steep hill on the outskirts of Roanoke County’s Town of Vinton, the William Byrd High School property includes the main school building, two annexes, several secondary buildings, and an athletic field and parking areas. Built in 1933 to replace several smaller, short-lived high school buildings, William Byrd High School was designed in a Classical Revival-inspired style by Eubank and Caldwell, an architecture firm based in Roanoke. The school served as the only high school in Vinton until it was replaced in 1970 by a new high school of the same name, located just outside of town. The original school was a gathering place for significant local events and a focal point for the entire community for several decades. It also played a role in the desegregation of local schools. During its last four years of service, one grade per year was integrated before the high school closed in 1969, to be replaced by the current William Byrd High School, which opened to serve the larger, fully-integrated school system. The William Byrd High School is a prominent local example as well of the process of school consolidation that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, when public education moved out of small schoolhouses to large, centralized schools with amenities such as laboratories, libraries, cafeterias, and outdoor recreational space.
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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark