Davison Community Schools celebrated its 100th year of offering 12 full grades in 2007 but records show that the district dates back as early as 1850. Then known as "District Number Six," students met in a one-room log cabin. More than 50 students attended the school there until the start of the Civil War.
School records indicate that several one-room school houses existed in the 1860s, including Cartwright and Cottrell. Other one-room school houses in the district included Kitchen School, believed to have been built in the 1930s, and Uptegraff School, built sometime in the mid 1950s, as well as Richfield, Goodenough, Herrick, Potter, Russelville and White school buildings. Wolcott School was another small building that was still in operation in the 1970s.
In the late 1880s, the main school was located in the area where Davison City Hall now stands. According to historical book, "Davison, Then and Now," the two-story building was heated with stoves. It was in 1907 that the district began offering 12 full grades in this building.
Enrollment skyrocketed in the early 1920s and two temporary buildings were constructed. However, fire destroyed the school on March 2, 1930.
Erma Welch Taylor, a 1931 graduate, was playing the cello in the orchestra pit as part of a school play at City Hall when news of the fire came.
"Somebody came in and whispered to us that the school was burning," she said. "When we got there, there was just some smoke coming out of the building. One of my friends said, 'it's only smoke,' and then it went up in flames."
Erma, along with hundreds of other classmates, spent the next year and a half attending school in makeshift classrooms held at several locations throughout the city, including area churches, City Hall and even a car dealer's garage.
While Erma was spending her senior year at City Hall, the community was trying to figure out how to build a new school. According to "Davison, Then and Now," many local taxpayers fought against the proposal to build a new school. In fact, two special elections and a court fight took place before the Board of Education was finally allowed to award contracts for a new school building. Work was soon underway to build a new K-12 school building known today as Central Elementary.
In 1958, Hill Elementary was constructed. It was named for the Hill Family, whose members had a long tradition of serving on the Board of Education dating back to 1910. Today, the building serves as the district's year-round school.
Thomson Elementary was the next building to be constructed. Named after former superintendent C. J. Thomson, the building today serves Great Start Readiness Preschool and Kindergarten students. The building received an "extreme makeover" in 2004 with the addition of a media center and major classroom renovations. More construction followed suit in 2008 with the addition of four classrooms.
The building now known as Davison Middle School was opened in 1962 as the new high school. The athletic complex located next to it - Collins Field - is named for the building's first principal, Rodney Collins. Today, Davison Middle School houses more than 800 seventh and eighth graders. Renovations and the addition of a "west wing" were completed in 2004.
North Elementary was built in 1964 and renamed Siple Elementary in 1968 after Florence M. Siple, the building's principal. That building was renovated in 2008.
Gates Elementary was first called South Elementary when it opened in 1966. It was named for former Board of Education member Geraldine Gates following her death in 1968. Renovations were completed in that building in 2007.
In 1972, Davison High School opened its doors to 9th through 12th graders. In the fall of 2005, the football team played its first game in the new Cardinal Stadium. It was that same year that an addition was completed, making room for athletic offices, a weight training room, student lockers and a large conference room.
The district's newest building - Hahn Intermediate - was built in 1998. The building houses fifth and sixth graders. Four additional classrooms were added to the building in 2004.
Davison Alternative Education received major renovations in 2009. The school houses about 150 students as well as vocational classes, the district's copy center and Davison Community Enrichment and Recreation.
In 2013, voters approved the "Back to the Future" renovation/addition project at Central Elementary, the district's oldest school building. Construction included an eight-classroom addition on the south end of the building and a two-story technology lab/media center to the north. Renovations were made throughout the entire building, making sure to keep the integrity and original charm of the building intact by choosing to keep moldings, original terrazzo, doors and wooden floors in certain areas but also including modern updates, an efficient heating and cooling system and technology. The construction was completed in 2015 making the building a true show piece and 21st century learning center for our students and community to be proud of.