HISTORY OF AIKEN HIGH SCHOOL
On February 23, 1888, the Aiken Institute was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. The school opened its doors as a high school on September 17, 1888. The first students were required to pay a small tuition to help defray the cost of running the school. Prior to the establishment of the Aiken Institute, the youth of Aiken attended several private schools located in the city.
In 1935, the name of the school was changed to Aiken High School and the student body moved from the Chesterfield Street location to the new building on Laurens Street. The school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1934. A new plant was built in 1954 on a large site on Rutland Drive and the student body moved to the new campus on April 21, 1954.
In 1955, Windsor High School of Windsor, South Carolina consolidated with Aiken high School. Aiken High School in 1955 consisted of grades seven through twelve. The enrollment was 763 with a graduating class of 153 students.
The Quakers established Schofield in 1870 as a school for the black students of Aiken. In 1886, the school was incorporated under the laws of South Carolina as the Schofield School, but the name was soon changed to Schofield Normal and Industrial School. The school consisted of grades one through high school. Its graduates were then eligible to teach in most black schools of the south. Schofield received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1968. Schofield and Aiken High School were consolidated in 1970.
September 1970 found the ninth and tenth grades of Aiken High School housed on the Schofield Campus and the eleventh and twelfth grades housed on the Rutland Drive site. During 1972-73 the enrollment was 2908 with a graduating class of 618 students. Aiken High School now has an enrollment of approximately 1700 students.
The 1980-81 school year began a new phase for Aiken. With the establishment of South Aiken High School, Schofield became a middle school, and Aiken High School once again had grades nine through twelve on one campus. The senior class of 1981 remained intact, with the rest of the student body being rezoned to accommodate the new school.
During the 1988 and 1990 school years, renovations were done to the interior of our school. During the 1994-95 period, the James A. Taylor Activities Center with a new gymnasium and seven classrooms was constructed. In 2000, the old North Aiken Elementary School was renovated for the addition of classrooms for Aiken High School. The main office was renovated in 2004.