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Never before in the history of Atlanta Public Schools has any school been named in honor of a living African American male.  In September 1981, the Atlanta Board of Education at the urging of late State Representative and PTSA Henrietta Canty and late School Superintendent Dr. Alonzo Crim, the newly constructed building at 3450 Benjamin E. Mays Drive S.W. was named in honor of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, a humanitarian, educator, and international pioneer in “Negro Education”. Groundbreaking for the school’s construction took place on Monday, November 14, 1977 at 1:00pm.  The building was completed in August 1981 and was officially opened in a Sunday ceremony on September 27, 1981. Rising from the sunset atop a picturesque mountain, Benjamin Elijah Mays High School was born.


Built at a cost of $23 million, the school’s magnet program of Science and Mathematics was designed to draw students across the City of Atlanta who were interested in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, with a focus in Science and Mathematics. 


Thirty one years later, and with an academic foundation as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, Benjamin E. Mays High School is a beacon of light atop a mountain in Southwest Atlanta.  Envied by those who cannot attend, cherished by those who attend, and loved by it graduates, Benjamin Elijah Mays High School is the flagship institution in the City of Atlanta Public School System.