PRINCIPAL / ADMINISTRATOR: Carisa Spires
Phone: (813) 276-5408
Fax: (813) 276-5534
Monday: 7:40 AM to 1:25 PM
Tuesday - Friday: 7:40 AM to 1:55 PM
Uniforms: Mandatory Uniforms
Before School Program: No
After School Program: HOST
B.C. Graham Elementary was built in 1922 on 4 1/2 acres of land located at the southeast corner of Massachusetts Avenue and West Street. The school was named for Benjamin Chalmers Graham, a native of Alabama with a degree from Hampden-Sydney College. He was a Confederate veteran and was wounded in a cavalry battle in Tennessee.
When Mr. Graham came to Tampa in 1894, he had already served as a teaching Principal for 15 years. The school for which he first became Principal in Hillsborough County was the first with 12 grades all within the same school. He remained Principal from 1885-1900, after which he was elected School Superintendent for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
B. C. Graham Elementary's original two-story building was designed by M. Leo Elliot and constructed by the Logan Brothers Construction Company. It had a cafeteria added in 1948, and two additional classrooms in 1952. In 1987-1988, a 1.4 million dollar ronovation/restoration included the replacement of windows, masonry repair, and the refurbishemt of interior woodwork. This renovation earned an Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation/Restoration. Jan Abel Kenneth Garcia Partnership, the architectural firm, and Burton and Rolley, Inc., the Engineers, oversaw the renovation.
Upon opening for the first time in 1922, B. C. Graham Elementary saw 193 pupils come through its doors, to be taught by a total of eight teachers and the Principal, Miss Lillian Gwin. By the end of the first two months, the enrollment had grown to an average of 259 students!
Miss Gwin served as Principal of B. C. Graham Elementary from 1922-1948. Following her as Principal were Hortense Mintz, Laura Ellen Weeks, Jean Patrick, Dr. Whitney, Philip Bondi, James Pardo, Kathy Coto, Bonnye Taylor, Mrs. Valenti, Sherry Orr, Sharron Doyle, and our current Principal, Carisa Spires.