James F. Byrnes High School was built in 1955. The school honored James F. Byrnes because as Governor of South Carolina, he fathered an educational renaissance in his native state, the benefits of which will endure as long as South Carolina itself. In 1955, there were 21 teachers and 500 students in grades 9-12. There have been numerous transitions for our school population. In 1969, students in grades 10-12 attended Byrnes and all ninth-grade students attended Florence Chapel School (D.R. Hill Annex). In 1971, the ninth grade moved back to J.F. Byrnes High School. In 2007, the ninth grade moved to a separate facility. Presently there are 2200 students served by 150 faculty and staff members at James F. Byrnes High School with approximately 850 students and 50 staff members at the Byrnes Freshman Academy.
We have undergone additions and renovations to Byrnes high school in 1962, 1979, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009 and are presently undergoing construction. The new expansion is the most extensive of all the projects in District Five’s growth plan. The new construction and renovation aim to modernize the campus and replace the school’s original wing, which dates back to the 1950’s. Phase 2, includes 127,401 square foot addition consisting of 42 additional classrooms and science labs. The addition will also include a brand new, state of the art media center and new administration and guidance wing. The three-story building will feature collaborative work spaces for students and staff, a satellite food service station to assist in feeding students during the school day, and enhanced storage space to house the district’s technology needs. Construction began on Phase 2 of the Byrnes project in July of 2022, and the building is expected to finish in July of 2024, just in time for the 2024- 2025 school year.
The Future of Byrnes High School