BACKGROUND  AND  HISTORY OF CLIFFORD  MEIGS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL

 

Meigs Middle School is named for Mr. Clifford Meigs, whose name is also synonymous with the town of Shalimar.  Mr. Meigs, who once owned most of the land that is now Shalimar, constructed the first 160 homes built there and rented them to Eglin Air Force Base personnel in 1937.  The town was then known as “Port Dixie.”

By the mid-40’s, Mr. Meigs teamed with a well-known business owner, Roger Clary, who suggested Shalimar be incorporated. Mr. Meigs agreed and hence, the town of “Shalimar” was born.  Clifford Meigs served as the town Mayor from the time of its incorporation in 1947 until his death in 1960.  His brother Clyde was the mayor for a short time after his death, followed by Clifford’s widow Sara.  She later married Jim Tras, who became the first “elected” Mayor in 1965.

Meigs Middle School was the first educational institution built in Shalimar.  The school originally housed students from Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Wright, Ocean City, Destin and of course, Shalimar.  However, it was named Choctawhatchee High School.  According to some who were around during the 50’s, the original site for the school is now where the US Air Force Armament Museum is located but Mr. Meigs released the land in Shalimar and the school’s doors opened on September 22, 1952.

The new school was regarded as the most modern school in Northwest Florida at that time.  It was designed to accommodate 500 but with so many students ranging in grades 7-12, it soon became over-capacitated, to include an enrollment of 625 the first year.  The Meigs family had also donated land for the post office and courthouse annex in Shalimar and civilian families started moving to Shalimar, as well as the surrounding areas. 

As Okaloosa County grew in population, the public school population grew too.  In the summer of 1966, Choctawhatchee High School completed the construction of a much larger complex on Racetrack Road in Fort Walton Beach.  The Okaloosa County School District decided to revise the grade levels and make the old Choctawhatchee High School 7th - 9th grades and the 10th - 12th graders would attend the new high school; therefore, in August 1966, the “old” Choctaw was named “Meigs Junior High” school.   Another revision followed and the name of all junior high schools were changed to “middle” schools, housing 6th – 8th graders and moving the 9th graders to the high schools.  In August 1989, Meigs Junior High School became “Meigs Middle School”.

With Meigs Middle School being one of the highest ranked middle schools in the entire state of Florida, we are established as the “Gold Standard for Educational Excellence.” We offer more than the average academic and extracurricular opportunities to our students.  We welcome you to Meigs Middle School!                                

 

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