Saying goodbye to 50 years of the round building at CMS

(Cullman City Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – A unique, iconic piece of Cullman Middle School’s history is set to be closed soon as an ambitious expansion of the downtown campus continues. But don’t worry, the community will get one last chance to bid farewell to what has affectionately been called “the round building” for half a century.

With the round building set to soon be torn down and replaced with a classroom building at the heart of campus, Cullman Middle School is inviting former students and community members to take one last stroll through the round building’s hallways on Dec. 10 from 3-4 p.m., just in case they’re feeling nostalgic for their junior high years.

Construction on the round building started in 1972, and the space opened for student use during the 1973-1974 school year. The unique facility has served several different uses over the years. Initially, it was built without walls separating the classrooms, which was a common trend in 1970s school construction intended to encourage collaboration across different areas of study. The space that is now the school’s band room was once used as the girls’ gym when the round building was first opened. The round building was used for sixth-grade classes until the mid-1990s, at which time sixth-grade students were shifted to the elementary campuses at East and West.

Once the round building is removed, the space will be used for the west wing of a new facility that will house several general education classrooms, as well as band and choir rooms, career tech classrooms, an art classroom and a self-contained special needs classroom.

“Although the round building is a unique part of our school’s history, the new state-of-the-art facility and cutting-edge technology we’re adding in its place will allow our dedicated team of educators to continue the academic excellence at CMS,” Principal Jake Johnson said. “Cullman Middle School is not just a physical space; it represents a vision for education that is innovative and focused on nurturing well-rounded individuals.”

As for the ongoing renovation project, the first phase of construction is on schedule for final inspection this month. The teachers housed in the round building and the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) building will move into the new facility during the Christmas break, along with office and guidance staff. Once operations have moved into the first phase of the new facility, the round building and the FACS building will be demolished, and the second phase of new construction will begin.

The entire project is scheduled for completion, including the renovation of the campus’ current main building, by January 2025. Once that work is complete, sixth-grade students are slated to return to CMS in the fall of 2025.

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