In the 1800s the Central community was known as Sullivan’s Crossroads and was named in honor of the doctor who lived nearby. The high school was named Central because it was built in a central location for the area children. From this, the community came to be called Central Heights.
Prior to 1927, the young people of the Central community who wanted to complete their high school education had no high school to attend. Parents of the community worked with the board of education in planning and building the high school. This school had to be centrally located and be able to serve Threets, Oakland, Beulah, Cloverdale, and Burcham Valley students. The people of the community had to raise enough money to match the funds provided by the county in order to build the school. Mr. Sam Haddock donated the land for the original school building. At that time it was valued at $100.oo an acre. An additional 38 acres was purchased in 1968 on which the present parking lot, gym, and recreational area now exist.
In June 1928, Mr. H.F. Koonce obtained the contract to build Central School for $23,000. This contract called for the building of an office, a library, six classrooms, a vocational building, and an auditorium. The building was ready for occupancy for the fall semester of that year. The first year that Central was a school; there were approximately 175 students in grades 7-12, with seven teachers. There were 15 in the first graduating class in 1929.
In 1933 additions were made to the school due to the rapid increase in student enrollment. More classrooms were added, and the vocational building was enlarged.
In 1936 the Central Elementary School was completed with four classrooms. Other additions were a teacherage, principal’s house, lunchroom, and cannery (1944). In 1947 two army barracks were moved in to be used as portable classrooms, and a water tank was added in 1948.
In the early 1970s, the Lauderdale County Board of Education approved three phases for a new high school. Phase I was completed in 1976 and included new home economics and business department, three mathematics classrooms, and restroom facilities. Phase II was completed in 1978 and consisted of biology and chemistry labs and additional classrooms. In 1982, the final phase of the new high school building, the library-office complex was added.
In 1980 the high school building constructed in1928 was torn down, and new elementary classrooms and a library were built on that site. The only remaining part of the old high school, the library, was moved to the old building before construction began in the elementary classrooms. The old elementary building was torn down after the completion of Phase III of the high school, and library materials were moved to the new library. This would eventually become the site for the new cafeteria which was built in 1989.
In the late 1990s, the vocational building was added which houses cosmetology, health occupations, and masonry.