Leavelle McCampbell Middle School


    The new Leavelle McCampbell Middle School, dedicated in August of 2017, is a 113,000-square-foot new facility built on the northeast corner of Bettis Academy Road and Weldon Way in Graniteville. The site is adjacent to Byrd Elementary, and a practice football field separates the two schools.

    The design is in keeping with traditional elements of an early 20th-century school and incorporates many of the familiar design elements of the former school building located on Canal Street, intermixed with contemporary elements and the latest technology to enhance the 21st-century learning environment.

History of Leavelle McCampbell

  • As he welcomed the large crowd to the groundbreaking on November 10, 2015, Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford admitted that for many, even himself, “it’s sometimes difficult to think of Graniteville’s school without picturing the stately academy on Canal Street that is so much a part of the heritage of this community.”

    Graniteville has a legacy of preparing its students for the workforce through education. The tradition began in 1847 when the South’s first cotton mill village founder William Gregg required factory workers to send their children to school or face a substantial fine.

    The first school for the community was housed in a gothic revival-style building near the existing Leavelle McCampbell. Students travelled to school in a horse drawn buggy, which doubled as transportation for cotton.

    As time passed, the need for a larger space for educating the village’s growing population was met with the construction of a new school, designed by noted Augusta architect Willis Irvin and was called “the finest school in the state” upon its dedication.

    By 1922, the number of students enrolled in Graniteville Academy dictating the need for a newer, larger school. A two-story brick building in the heart of the mill village was built and named “Leavelle McCampbell,” in honor of a Graniteville Mill board member and eventual president.  

    All students from Graniteville and the surrounding communities of Vaucluse and Warrenville attended Leavelle McCampbell until 1954 when Byrd Elementary was built, leaving just the high school students at the school with an unofficial new name of “Graniteville High School.”

    In 1960, The Mill sold the school to Aiken County for $124,000. A bargain, when considering the new middle school will cost nearly $30 million.

    Leavelle McCampbell was the first school in Aiken County to integrate its students. Those that experienced the change, including former School Board Member Mr. Dwight Smith, recall it as a rather peaceful experience of neighbors and friends coming together in one school, despite turmoil in other areas.

    The high school’s last graduates were the class of 1980. After which high school students attended the newly-constructed Midland Valley High School and Leavelle McCampbell became a middle school, which it has remained since. The school maintains an active Alumni Association and is the alma mater to many fine graduates, including a navy admiral.

    The Graniteville and Midland Valley communities were among many that voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Educational Capital Improvements Sales & Use Tax on November 4, 2014. The additional 1% in sales tax on most items is makes the Leavelle McCampbell project, and others, possible.

    School and community leaders provided input in the design of the new school, which combines the architectural elements of the 1920s with spaces suitable for teaching and learning in the 21st century.  

    “We know that this new school will be a beacon of pride for our community, including current students and alumni, teachers and staff for generations to come,” Dr. Alford said in closing.

    The new school was completed in June of 2017.


  • Design:

    January 2015 – October 2015


    January 2016 – June 2017

    Total Estimated Project Cost:

    $29.7 Million

Architect & Contractor Information

  • Architect: McMillan, Pazdan, Smith 

    Contractor: H.G. Reynolds

    Design: January 2015 – October 2015

    Design Phases and Decisions with School Stakeholders’ Involvement


    January 2016 – June 2017

    Total Estimated Project Cost:

    $29.7 Million

    Schematic Design