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Training school gets historical recognition

Escambia County Training School is now a part of the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

In order to celebrate the school’s inclusion as a part of Alabama’s history, a marker will be erected this Fri., Dec. 2, at 9:30 a.m.

The Atmore Historical Society decided to nominate the school located on Martin Luther King Drive as a project for this year.

Barbara McCoy, one of those who helped get the school its designation on the historical marker list, said the nomination was accepted on June 23.

“This is the first marker Atmore has been nominated for,” she said.

In 1923, the average attendance of the school was 158 for an enrollment of 322.

Two years later, the wooden-framed building held six classrooms and was used as a grammar school and the brick building was a high school. High school classrooms were academic.

The school opened in 1926, and in 1927, the state legislature provided $600,000 for all schools to have a seven-month school. Ten years later, the school was deemed overcrowded by the board of education, and at least two additional classrooms had several maintenance problems.

The principal in 1937, K.B. Young, received a salary of $125 each year. The teachers’ salaries ranged from $55-$85.

Some 30 years later, the city and county schools merged. New floors were added in 1969 to the wood-framed building AKA Rosenwald School.

In May of 1970, the last high school graduation was held at ECTS. On Aug. 8, Escambia County Middle School opened to grades 4-8.

A new school was erected on Highway 21, where the current ECMS is located.