George Washington Carver High School began in September of 1948 as a vocational school for African-Americans. Dr. Clarence M. Dannelly, then superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools, held a ground breaking ceremony on Fairview Avenue on April 13, 1948. It was an informal ceremony attended by representatives of the Board of Education and the contractors from Hodgson Contracting Co. The land was secured from the federal government and the funds were provided by the state.
Initially, Carver students attended Loveless Junior High School. However, population surges created overcrowding. Two classes were taught in unsuitable basement rooms and four were taught in the auditorium with only a screen for separation. This and other issues necessitated the truncation of the school day. Therefore, school for these students consisted of two, five hour shifts; 7:00 am to 12:00 pm and 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Carver High School was built to provide classroom space for junior and senior high pupils, relieve the overcrowding at Loveless, and create a school day commensurate with that of other schools.
With 40 acres for agriculture and recreation, the school offered vocational courses in home economics and agriculture as well as joint training in trade and industries and commercial study. When built, it was the only high school to service African-American children in northwestern Montgomery.
The doors of the school were first opened on January 4, 1949. There were 24 classrooms, an office suite, and a lunchroom which also served as an auditorium. There were 875 students and 23 faculty members including principal, Prof. M. H. Griffin, a graduate of the University of Michigan. This connection is why Carver High School adopted the wolverine as its mascot. The curriculum consisted of the basic subjects and physical education.
A dedication ceremony was held on Sunday, April 10, 1949. The address and presentation of the building were conducted by Dr. Dannelly. The acceptance of the building was conducted by Mr. Theodore Smiley, principal of Booker T. Washington High School. An address of appreciation was conducted by Dr. H. Council Trenholm, president of Alabama State University. The first commencement exercises were held on Monday, May 30, 1949. There were 79 graduates including John Belser, valedictorian.
In subsequent years, Carver was expanded both physically and academically. Eight classrooms were added from 1951-1952. An elementary unit, consisting of 20 rooms and a gymnasium were added from 1952-1953. By 1959, the enrollment had increased to nearly 1700 students; therefore, an 18 room extension was added. This extension consisted of science labs, home-making rooms, mechanic shops and workshops.
In 1982, the Carver Creative and Performing Arts Center (CCPAC) was created. CCPAC was created to accommodate the growing need for specialized arts instruction for students attending Montgomery Public Schools. This program would later become Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and a blueprint for the magnet school system in Montgomery.
In 2008, as part of Phase I of the district's facilities plan, $36 million dollars were allocated for the construction of a new school. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 2, 2008. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held August 3, 2010.
The "new" Carver High School utilizes modern advances in architecture, construction and technology. The community, faculty, students and alumni take pride in a building that has become a monument to the successes of both the school and its namesake. Although the original building no longer exists, the original sentiment does:
"Once a Wolverine, Always a Wolverine."