Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

301-5063 John Groom Elementary School

John Groom Elementary School
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/21/2017

NRHP Listing Date 02/13/2018

NRHP Reference Number SG100002138

The John Groom Elementary School in South Hill served as the area’s only public elementary school for African American students from 1950 until 1969, when the county desegregated its schools. The school honors John Groom, whose $10,000 bequest subsidized a portion of the construction of the building’s combined auditorium-cafeteria. After desegregation, the building became South Hill Primary School, housing grades one through three. The product of a statewide mid-20th-century campaign to improve school buildings, the Colonial Revival-style brick school, when completed in 1950, allowed space for many more students. The building exemplifies the Virginia Department of Education’s initiative to supply students with spacious, well-ventilated, and amply lit instructional areas. A Modernist-style classroom wing, added in 1960, features a flat roof and tall multi-pane windows in aluminum frames. In addition to its primary function, the facility served as a community meeting place.

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

Updated: February 23, 2021