Booker T. Washington School History

  • Booker T. Washington High School began in early 1865 as a primary school for African Americans. The first graduation exercises were held May 25, 1904. The school grew rapidly to the extent that in 1916 an additional building was erected at Union and Grove Streets.

    In 1937, plans were made to open a senior high. A thirty-room unit was constructed after several of the original structures were demolished in 1948. A 123-foot underground tunnel was developed to connect each side of the campus. The adjoining auditorium-gymnasium was constructed in 1954, and in 1956, Booker T. Washington became a high school.

    Booker T. Washington (BTW) Magnet High School is a public, inner-city magnet program that serves students in Montgomery, Alabama. BTW has a rich heritage on its present site. BTW was derived from the Carver Creative and Performing Arts Center (CCPAC). CCPAC was developed in 1982 to accommodate the growing need for specialized arts instruction for students within the Montgomery County School System. CCPAC grew from four arts areas to sixteen from 1982 to 1992.

    In 1996, a federal grant enabled CCPAC to be designated as a magnet school, which was then housed on the campus of the old Booker T. Washington School. Booker T. Washington Magnet High School (BTW Magnet) became a public, inner-city magnet program that serves students in Montgomery, Alabama. On the new campus, CCPAC's programs were then joined by the Center for Air and Space Studies, the Center for Advanced Technology, the 21st Century Academy for Careers in Law, and the Academy for Communication Arts. Currently, there are 14 components of study within five overarching magnet programs.

    In August 2018, a late-night fire destroyed part of the downtown campus, and BTW Magnet moved to a temporary location on Hayneville Road. A new campus is currently being constructed on Bell Road with a prospective move-in date of summer 2022.

    In BTW Magnet's twenty-six-year history, the administration, faculty, and staff have worked to promote excellence for all students. BTW Magnet remains dedicated to the student-created motto "Excellence in All Things," and each student is expected to perform at his or her highest level of ability. Teachers and students recognize the need for the arts in daily life, and all areas of the school emphasize the principles set forth in the Comprehensive Arts Based Instruction (Discipline- and Arts-Based Education).