HUNTINGTON — In 1951, the Cabell County Board of Education revealed plans for Beverly Hills Junior High School, a new, modern school to be built on a 25-acre site near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Saltwell Road at U.S. 60.
The architectural firm of Frampton & Bowers designed the new junior high, described as the largest single addition to the county school system since Huntington East High was built in 1939.
The school board set aside $450,000 to build the new school, but when construction bids on the project were opened in 1953 the low bids for the work totaled more than $700,000.
To bring down the costs, the school's auditorium and gymnasium were temporarily eliminated with a plan to add them at a future date, which was done. In 1963, a six-classroom addition was built at the school and another identical six-room addition was added in 1969. School Superintendent Olin C. Nutter noted that the additions brought the total cost of the school to more than $1 million.
Like the county's other junior highs, Beverly Hills ultimately was designated a "middle school." It was closed it 2013 when students from it and Enslow Middle Schools were consolidated at the new Huntington East Middle School.
However, Beverly Hills was given a new lease on life when it was extensively remodeled to house the county's new Explorer Academy, a dramatically different kind of school that opened in 2016. The new school was the first in West Virginia to implement Expeditionary Learning education model.