On April 17th, 1967 a fire was discovered on the third floor of the Lanier high school and that fire destroyed most of the Lanier campus. It was later discovered that trash had knowingly been piled under a "scuttle hole" and deliberately set on fire. As word spread all over town that the school was burning, students showed up to aid in saving more than forty years of trophies, photos, memorabilia and library books. Every classroom on the third floor received heavy damage and very little of the roof structure remained. The massive fire brought over one hundred firemen to the school as well as seven pumper trucks and two ladder trucks to get the fire under control. Unfortunately the fire was too much and the main building was destroyed. In the end, John M. Darity was arrested in connection with the fire and charged with arson and burglary and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Over the next several years, the school was rebuilt while the Senior and Middle High schools shared the Hendley St. campus. The new building, opened in December 1968, sat on the former site of Lanier Senior, though it faced Napier Avenue, with side entrances from Holt. Some buildings not destroyed by the fire were incorporated into the new school including the Vocational Building, JROTC Complex, and "Old Gym" portions of Central High School. The last of those buildings was demolished in 2009 to make way for new Central High School buildings.
posted 04/16/2018 in