History of LMS
In September of 1956, Lincoln High School opened at its present location of 1001 SE 12th Street (on Williston Road). Previously, Lincoln High occupied what is now the A. Quinn Jones Center, the red brick building on NW 8th Avenue. Back then, Lincoln was THE public high school for African American students in Alachua County. That is, it was the only public high school African American students were allowed to attend. There was a great deal of community pride for the "Big Red", as the school colors were red & white, and the mascot was the terrier.
Segregation came to an end in 1970 as the federal courts ordered that Alachua County integrate its schools. Lincoln High School was closed in December of that year, and the students were sent to Gainesville High School on NW 13th Street. As you can imagine, it was hardly a smooth transition. There were many students who did not welcome the students from Lincoln, and the Lincoln students were upset at being removed from their school. There were riots and Gainesville High was shut down for several days. Due to the huge numbers of students enrolled at GHS, there were “split sessions”, with some students starting very early in the day and others much later. Things calmed down after awhile, and in 1973 Buchholz and Eastside High Schools opened to relieve the overcrowding.
Lincoln was converted into a middle school and re-opened in 1973. The mascot was changed from a terrier to a bulldog. Some might say there’s little difference, but the bulldog was more of the classic English bulldog. The colors also changed to blue and yellow. Lincoln Middle School served students across southern Alachua County.
In 1994, The Lyceum magnet program was started at Lincoln Middle School. This was a program of advanced study classes for highly motivated students. The Lyceum remains the premier middle school magnet program in Alachua County. Students from all across the county apply to the program every year. Students are accepted based on their grades, test scores and attitude. Students who successfully complete the three years of The Lyceum program are well-prepared for any high school magnet program, with the majority going on to the International Baccalaureate program at Eastside High School or the Cambridge program at Gainesville High School.
The current student enrollment at Lincoln is about 700 students. In addition to the magnet students, Lincoln serves the middle school-aged children of southeast Gainesville. Our zoning boundaries are south of University Avenue, and east of West 13th Street with the exception of the Porters neighborhood. After learning about the sense of pride that the community felt about Lincoln, and especially from those who attended Lincoln High School, Principal Don Lewis decided to change the mascot back to the terrier in 2007.
While many old Lincoln Middle School students were not happy with the change, there was tremendous positive feedback from the community.