100 Berea Drive ♦ Greenville, South Carolina 29617 ♦ Phone 864.355.1500 ♦ Fax 864.355.1558
Saturday, April 19, 2014

History

Berea School was built on land purchased in 1855. The building was located on White Horse road (Hwy 25) in northwestern Greenville County. Three trustees directed the operations. Then, in 1916, a new chapter began for this little two room school. It was moved to the intersection of two roads-Farr’s Bridge and Sulphur Springs. There, it literally became a cornerstone of the Berea Community. As the community grew, it was necessary to purchase approximately three acres of land and rebuild the school under The Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) program in 1939. A larger building was constructed with classrooms and a lunchroom in the basement. Then a potato house and an agriculture building with a cannery were added for the high school students.

The next chapter for this little neighborhood school began in 1952 when Greenville County consolidated its schools. Just nine years later, 1961, Berea High School students were moved to a new location. The little red brick school continued to house first though sixth grade students. Soon, that too would change. In 1970, the sixth graders were moved to a new location because the Greenville County School System began its plan of integration. The Berea community and Berea Elementary School opened their doors to welcome a diverse population of families. The school’s doors opened wider in 1973 when kindergarten boys and girls began attending for half of each school day.

With the growth in population in the northwest area, plans were begun to close the school in the 1980’s. Many times, these plans were changed, even into the 1990’s. You see, the Berea community did not want their elementary students to be separated and moved to three other nearby schools … they wanted to keep their beloved school. But, something had to be done… the old school’s construction was not suitable anymore, and there were very few modern conveniences with the school. No matter how many times the carpenters, painters, and maintenance workers came to do their repairs, the building was just plain old. Once again, more land was purchased-nearly nineteen acres, this time. Then, in 1998, the new Berea Elementary celebrated the opening of many new doors, which are even wider and much more modern, to embrace the 568 students, 70 staff members, and the community, who just love being here. Although the bricks are not red, and the intersection of Parker Road and Berea Drive are the new location, Berea Elementary School remains a cornerstone of the Berea community.