Goodlettsville High School Alumni Association
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History of Goodlettsville High School 1974
By Mr. Homer Coss
Goodlettsville school was organized in the fall of 1917 and is now the second oldest school in the Metro system (Hume-Fogg School being the oldest). The present campus was donated to the old Davidson County Board of Education, along with a home that was used that first year for classes. Tents were also set up for classes. The first graduating class was in 1921. Sometime prior to 1920, two frame buildings were built on the campus, one for the high school and one for the elementary school. A “crackerbox” gymnasium was used for both schools. Organized physical education did not come about until the 40’s.
In 1936, a new elementary school was built. The Joe Burns Gymnasium was built in 1937 and was remodeled around 1950. In 1945, the new high school building was built (what we now call the administration building), to accommodate 300 students. In the fall of 1956, a new elementary school was built at another location and GHS took over all of the elementary facilities. GHS retained the 7th and 8th grades, making it a six-year school.
The zoning area for GHS was the largest in the entire system, extending to the Cumberland River on Old Hickory Road, taking in all of Madison, to the city limits on Dickerson Road, and halfway between Dickerson Road and Whites Creek Pike.
GROWTH OF GRADES 9-12
1931 145 Students, 7 teachers
1941 217 Students, 11 teachers
1951 502 Students, 20 teachers, 1 principal
1964 1007 Students, 41 teachers, 1 principal and assistant
1974 1300 Students, 54 classroom teachers,
4 ½ secretaries, 3 administrators
Further plans are very indefinite, being held up by the Federal Court. There is no possibility of any building in this area until the courts approved such an action.
The Board of Education of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County would probably state it this way: Goodlettsville High School will be phased out June 3, 1986.
History of Goodlettsville Middle School
Goodlettsville Middle School is named for the community in which it is located. This school was originally organized as a high school in the fall of 1917. Classes were held in tents and an old house that was donated along with seven acres to the Davidson County Board of Education. An elementary school was later housed on the same campus. In 1936 a new elementary school was built. A new gymnasium and cafeteria were built for the high school in 1937. In 1945 a new high school designed to accommodate 300 students was built. That year the enrollment was 340. Five years later the gymnasium was remodeled, the high school cafeteria was made into two classrooms and the high school students began to eat with the elementary students in a new cafeteria. In 1951 the Home Economics department was built on the front part of the gym.
In the fall of 1956 a new building housing the band, agriculture department, and the industrial arts department was opened. The present cafeteria, library, computer lab, and one classroom were completed in 1961. In the meantime, a new elementary school was built on another campus in 1954 and the high school took over the old elementary facilities.
In all, there have been seven major construction jobs and numerous minor changes.
Business and civic leaders of the community began to agitate for new buildings about two years before the two school systems were unified. Tentative plans were made to remodel, add to, and build a new gym fronting Roscoe Street. With the advent of Metro, those plans were discarded and portable classrooms were brought in each year.
Upon learning that Goodlettsville was about to lose its high school, a number of the civic leaders got together and began to make plans for visits to the office of the Director of Schools and to contact members of the Board of Education. As a result, Goodlettsville was promised a new high school.
In 1956, the school was expanded into a six year school. Grades seven and eight were added which increased greatly the number of students comprising the student body. A maximum was reached in 1970 when the student body reached 1500. After that year the enrollment steadily declined each year. This was done in preparation for the new Hunters Lane Comprehensive High School which was completed in 1986. Grades nine through twelve were moved to Hunters Lane. Grades seven and eight were left to occupy the building which had previously housed the oldest high school in Davidson County.
With a number of the previous faculty members at Hunters Lane and several new faculty members replacing them, and a totally new educational philosophy regarding seventh and eighth graders, an old school experienced a new beginning. Goodlettsville Middle School was ready for the challenge that lay ahead. Even now, three years later, the school is still experiencing change as the best means of operation is being determined.