Atlanta Public Schools to close Alonzo Crim High

News Headlines March 5, 2019

The Atlanta Public Schools announced the closure of the Alonzo Crim Open Campus High School just off Memorial Drive in the Kirkwood neighborhood. This is the old Murphy High School on the east side of Atlanta. It was renamed the Alonzo Aristotle Crim Comprehensive High School in 1988 with the retirement of the former Atlanta Schools Superintendent.

Alonzo Crim served as the first African-American in the South to run a major school district in 1973. This was a tumultuous time in Atlanta as “white flight” from downtown neighborhoods was set in motion following Maynard Jackson’s election as Atlanta’s first black mayor, sweeping in a change of power from whites to blacks in most of the City’s major institutions.

The closure of this school marks a bittersweet commemoration of Alonzo Crim’s legacy. Changing demographics and Atlanta Public Schools’ attempts to balance funds and student populations led to the closing.

Alonzo Crim died in 2000 in a car accident near the location of the school.His daughter, Susan Crim-McClendon, died last month at the age of 60. She was the principal of Woodson Park Academy. The Atlanta Public Schools plans to rename the APS headquarters to The Alonzo A. Crim Center for Learning and Leadership.