About Us » History of the School

History of the School

History of the School

On February 1, 1788, Glynn Academy was created by an act of the General Assembly of Georgia making it the second oldest high school in Georgia. For more than a century the name "Glynn Academy" included all grades of public school from young learners to senior high school students. In 1888, one hundred years after its founding, Glynn Academy records show a graduating class consisting of four girls and two boys.

Glynn Academy has been documented as the second oldest high school in the State of Georgia and the fifth oldest high school in the nation. Her story begins in 1777, when the framers of Georgia’s first constitution initially planned a wonderful system of public schools for the state.


The Old Glynn Academy Building

In 1838 Mayor A. L. King of Brunswick conveyed Hillsborough Square to the Trustees of Glynn Academy and further proclaimed that the proceeds of the city’s sale of “New Town” would be used for the construction of the “Old Glynn Academy Building” now known as, Glynn Academy’s “Alumni Hall.”

Built in 1840, the Old Glynn Academy Building was the first building on Hillsborough Square, at the present location of the Glynn Academy campus; it is the oldest wooden schoolhouse in Georgia. For more than fifty years, this building served as the only public school building in Brunswick. While erected primarily for school purposes, the old academy structure has also served as a public hall where sessions of Superior Court were held for many years.

In 1915, it was disassembled and subsequently reassembled in Sterling, an unincorporated community in northern Glynn County. In 2008, the Old Glynn Academy Building was relocated to Hillsborough Square. In addition to being the second oldest wooden school house in America, it is also the only remaining antebellum building in Glynn County and it is finally home where it belongs.


Annex Building

Commissioned by Glynn County’s School Board and designed by Alfred S. Eichberg, the brick-constructed Annex was built in 1889 to replace the old 1838 wooden structure. Billed as three buildings in one, the Annex was celebrated for its innovative “Fire Proof” design consisting of solid brick walls between each of its distinct sections. It consisted of two outer buildings with four “recitation” rooms each (two upstairs and two downstairs) framing a center section originally configured with two large study rooms. The two center study rooms were designed to accommodate a combined total of 500 students. The unusual design was also notable for the cross ventilation it provided long before air conditioning was common. Replaced by the main Glynn Academy school building in 1923, the Annex lay virtually dormant until 1938 when, at a cost of $40,000, it was refurbished to ease student overcrowding. On August 19, 2005, the Annex Building was severely damaged as the result of a lightning flash but has since been remodeled. The Annex Building is home to our math department.

The Prep Building

The Prep Building, erected in 1909, is the second-oldest building at the school. The Prep Building is the most recognizable building on the campus due to its massive stairs and columns, and the now closed off tunnel that connects it to the GA building. The Prep Building was renovated in 2017.

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The Glynn Academy Building

The Glynn Academy Building is the main administrative building on campus. The Glynn Academy Building houses the Memorial Auditorium. Designed by Savannah Architect Henrik Wallin after the Library at Louvain, Belgium, our present Glynn Academy building is considered to be one of the most beautiful school buildings in Georgia. Constructed by Georgia’s West point iron works and dedicated on Armistice Day, November 12, 1923, this impressive building known as “Memorial Hall” stands as a tribute to the local veterans of World War I. A beautiful marble plaque recording the names of those Brunswick citizens who lost their lives in the Great War was installed at the top of the staircase in 1924 by the local chapter of the DAR. Memorial Hall was remodeled in 1999, whereupon it received an “Outstanding Achievement” award from the Georgia Trust for Historic preservation.

The Wood Gym

The Wood Gym is the original gymnasium of Glynn Academy. In 1928, the Wood Gym was built with funds donated by the pupils of Glynn County as a tribute to Alfred Vincent Wood, who served as the President of the Board of Education from 1900 to 1926. The Wood Gym houses our physical education classes.

The Sidney Lanier Building

The Sidney Lanier Building, a former primary school, was incorporated into Glynn Academy in the early 1970s. It was built in 1936 and named for the poet Sidney Lanier, who wrote a set of lyrical nature poems known as the "Hymns of the Marshes" describing the vast open salt marshes off the coast of Georgia. There is a historical marker in Brunswick commemorating the writing of “The Marshes of Glynn.” The Sidney Lanier Building houses primarily social studies classes. The Sidney Lanier Building was renovated during the 2018-2019 school year.

The Gym

The "new" Gym was completed in 1983 to accommodate a growing student population. The Gym was designed by architect John Tuten, Glynn Academy Class of 1961. The Gym is affectionately known as "The Glass Palace." On December 3, 2022 the Gym basketball court was dedicated to Coach Theresa Adams. In November 2022, the Gym addition was completed which consists of a basketball court for classes, weight rooms, and office space for coaches.


The Science Building

The Science Building was completed in 1963 and houses the Media Center and both literature and science classes. It was built to support President Kennedy’s emphasis on science education in American schools. The Science Building was renovated during the 2019-2020 school year and was open in August 2020.

The Wolfe Street Building

Constructed in 2016, the Wolfe Street Building houses the Foreign Language Department and the Technology and Career Departments. The original Wolfe Street Building was built in the 1940s and stood where the new cafeteria (built in 2016) now stands. John Tuten was also the architect for this building.


The Glynn Academy Café


The Glynn Academy Cafe serves as many as 2000 students and faculty daily. Construction of the new cafeteria building was completed by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. John Tuten was also the architect for this building.

Other Campus Buildings and Additional Information

Constructed in 2014, the tennis complex features 10 lighted courts — allowing Glynn Academy to host competitive tournaments — along with fencing, some additional parking spaces and a large building which holds concessions and restrooms. John Tuten was also the architect for the tennis complex.

Memorial Plaza and the Veterans Memorial Wall are both notable places that are centrally located on campus.

The building used as the previous cafeteria is serving as temporary classrooms during renovations of other buildings.


Liberty Bell

The bell in front of the Glynn Academy Building is a near replica of the Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is mounted on a red brick base and weighs in total about 2,000 pounds. In 1897, the bell was cast in bronze by McShane Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. It was used in the clock tower of Brunswick City Hall until the 1930s.

The Glynn Academy Student Council of 1968-1969 is credited with finding the Liberty Bell and assembling it on plinth at the downtown campus. With the help of the Brunswick Fire Department and numerous businessmen, parents and students, the bell was successfully transported and set during the 1969-1970 school year. The plaque at its base reads "Erected by the Student Councils 1968-1969 and 1969-1970."