Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly rebuilt Ralph J. Bunche Middle School October 14, 2015 in the auditorium for students, staff, former Bunche administrators and the Bunche community.
Ralph J. Bunche Middle School has educated Atlanta’s youth in the southwest community since 1979. When the original building opened, it was considered an architectural masterpiece with cutting-edge technology that included an energy conservation plan. Bunche was Atlanta Public Schools’ first solar powered school and cost $5.5 million to build. The original school’s yellow solar panels were iconic and welcomed as a beautiful addition to Niskey Lake Road. Students were educated in the first building from 1979 to 2013.
Students and staff returned to the new campus on August 5, 2015. The renovated campus features completely reorganized classroom pods, newly added auditorium and gym, and glass-walled courtyards, costing an estimated $32 million. The campus also features new athletic facilities that include a football/ soccer field with track and a softball field.
APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Atlanta Board of Education board member Eshé P. Collins (District 6), Atlanta City Council member Keisha Lance Bottoms (District 11) and alumna of Bunche Middle School, Principal Mario M. Watkins and representatives from the school’s PTA and local school council were in attendance and gave remarks. Atlanta Board of Education Chair Courtney D. English and board members Byron D. Amos (District 2), Steven Lee (District 5) Cynthia Briscoe-Brown (At-Large, Seat 8, Districts 3&4), and Matt Westmoreland (District 3) were also in attendance.
Click here for the Bunche Middle School ribbon-cutting ceremony photo gallery.