Proposed in 1904 by Carleton B. Gibson, Columbus School Superintendent, the Secondary Industrial School is regarded as the nation's first public coeducational industrial high school. G. Gunby Jordan, then President of the School Board, and his son R. C. Jordan donated the land and were instrumental in developing the school. The school was centrally located in Waverly Terrace, a community planned and developed by the Jordan Company, and completed in 1906. The school's name changed to Columbus Industrial High School in 1912 and again in 1939 to Columbus Junior High School.
Designed by the Atlanta firm of J. W. Golucke, the building is of monumental style and scale. Using brick and stone to illustrate the Neo-Classical details, this architectural design was popular for public buildings at the turn of the century. The building's appearance has remained essentially unchanged since its opening with only minor alterations and an addition of a rear gymnasium in the 1930s. The interior layout is three floors over an English basement, or "Quincy Plan". Golucke was best known for designing twenty courthouses in Georgia. This structure represents one of his few designs that is not a courthouse.