Howard Academy High School's Building 1 opened on Chestnut Street in 1936 with one structure containing several classrooms. In 1940, a similar, second building was constructed and financed by the county, parents and The Julius Rosenwald Fund. Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Co., donated funds to build thousands of schools, shops, and teachers' homes in the South. With the construction of Building 2, Building 1 was used as the elementary and junior high school and Building 2 served as the senior high school. Howard Academy was the first official high school for African-American students in the county. Later, a combination elementary and junior high school was built on Second Street in 1957. The Chestnut Street location served grades 9-12 students until 1959-60 when the elementary/junior high school on Second Street was expanded for students in all 12 grades. After 1960 the Chestnut Street Buildings were not used for several years. However, when schools were integrated in the early 1970's, the Chestnut site again served elementary students until the elementary school could be built. Currently, Building 2 is vacant and Building 1 is a storage space for the school district.