ABOUT OUR SCHOOL
Huntington Middle School was named in honor of Collis Potter Huntington, a shipping magnate and rail baron who was instrumental in the founding of the City of Newport News.
Huntington Middle School, one of the first high school buildings in the City of Newport News, began in one small room in the John Marshall Elementary School. It had an enrollment of fifty-two African American students with one teacher.
During the second year, the school moved to a four-room frame building on 18th Street. Later, four additional rooms were built to make a two-story building, and a principal and four teachers were added. The next campus was located on Marshall Avenue at 16th Street. This building was completed on January 28, 1924. When the building became too small and could no longer accommodate the students, Huntington was moved to its present site on Orcutt Avenue in 1936.
In 1943, the Federal Government erected a building on the Orcutt Avenue campus to be used for training people in several trades for defense production. At the end of the war, the government offered this building for training high school students in the trades and the City of Newport News accepted it. Additions were made to Huntington in 1945, 1947, and 1949. The school grew another city block. In addition to this, a ten-room temporary building was erected in 1960. After a $1.5 million dollar addition, which was completed in 1964, Huntington had three additional sections: Section A consisting of a gymnasium and music suite; Section B containing science suites, a health suite, office suites, a guidance suite, cafeteria, and library; Section C having four shops, a drawing room and a commercial suite. The building was converted to the middle school organization in 1981.
Today, Huntington Middle School houses nearly 1,000 middle school students in grades 6-8 with a staff of over a hundred teachers, administrators and support people. The students enjoy the luxury of a auditorium that can seat the student body, 2 gymnasiums, adequate office, classroom and guidance space.
Collis Potter Huntington (October 22, 1821 - August 13, 1900) was a successful shipping magnate and rail baron who formed the Central Pacific railroad in the west and the C&O in the east.
Mr. Huntington was born in Harwinton, Connecticut, in 1821. A successful Sacramento, California businessman, he was half-owner of a hardware store with partner Mark Hopkins and helped fund the Central Pacific Railroad during the 1860s. This railroad was linked with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869 by the golden spike and became the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. He was later involved in the establishment of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Beginning in 1871, he oversaw construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway across Virginia and West Virginia to reach the Ohio River. He established the planned city of Huntington, West Virginia, as well as the coal piers in Warwick County, Virginia at a location which became the City of Newport News in 1896. He also founded Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, the largest privately owned shipyard in the world.
Collis Huntington was the father of Archer Milton Huntington, renowned for his scholarly works in the field of Hispanic Studies and for founding the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world.