Briarcliff High School (DeKalb County, Georgia)
|Briarcliff High School|
|Location||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Campus||Suburban — DeKalb County|
|Colors||Silver and Blue|
|Website||The school closed before computers were in common use. However, several classes have their own websites.|
Briarcliff High School was a public high school opened by the DeKalb County School System in 1958 in order to relieve overcrowding at Druid Hills High School. Throughout the history of the school, Druid Hills was viewed as its "arch rival," and, with the closing of Briarcliff, the remaining students, and all the trophies, and other relics of the history of the school other than the buildings transferred to Druid Hills, where they remain today.
The first classes where held in what was known only as "B" Hall (the front section of the school) and the only students were in the 8th and 9th grades. In the 1961-1962 school year, the school building existed much as it does today, without the temporary buildings. In 1961, playing on the field at the newly-constructed Adams Memorial Stadium, Briarcliff won only three football games, but significantly, defeated Druid Hills 13-0. On June 12, 1962, the first class graduated at commencement exercises held next to the school at Adams Memorial Stadium. The first three "honor" graduates of Briarcliff, James M. "Jim" Veazey, Sharon L. Sullivan and James E. "Jimmy" Massey, spoke respectively of the "Past," "Present," and "Future" of Briarcliff an its students. Veazey was officially identified as the first person to graduate from Briarcliff, by the Briarcliff yearbook, known as The Shield.
The school's colors were silver and blue, and the school's mascot was the Baron.
The DeKalb County School System closed Briarcliff at the end of the 1986-1987 school year, due to a population shift. In 1986, when Superintendent Robert Freeman recommended that the school be closed, he projected that in the 1987-1988 school year, there would be only about 500 students enrolled in the whole school, with around 40 students in the 8th grade. At its height, in the mid-1960s, the graduating classes routinely numbered around 500.
In August, 1987, all the former Briarcliff students began attending Druid Hills High School. The DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) and the DeKalb Alternative School operated in Briarcliff's buildings until 2009, when DSA moved back onto Avondale High School's campus and the Dekalb Alternative School moved to a new location in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Adams Memorial Stadium remains a site for high school games during the football season.
In 2006, a major Florida developer, Sembler Co., offered to purchase the 39 acres (160,000 m2) along North Druid Hills Road which included the land and buildings on which Briarcliff, Adams Memorial Stadium as well as Kittredge Magnet School in order to build a large, mixed-use development, similar to others than have been built in the Atlanta area during the last decade. The Board of Education valued Sembler's offer at more than $60 million, which would be paid by Sembler in the form of a land-swap and the construction of new buildings for all of the displaced schools. The recession in the construction industry beginning in 2008 and local residents' protests ended Sembler's plans. Presently, the old BHS site is used as one of the locations for shooting MTV's Teen Wolf series.
An archive of the school's athletic history, Briarcliff Barons Athletics Archive, can be found at http://briarcliffbarons.blogspot.com
- White, Gayle, Atlanta Journal 18 July 1986, at A20.
- Tagami, Ty, and Torres, Kristina, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 30 September 2006
- http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=101017 Residents Oppose $100B Project