Braddock Elementary School opened on September 4, 1959. During construction our school was referred to as Bristow Elementary School because we were built to serve the Bristow neighborhood. Braddock Elementary School was built during the post-World War II period known as the baby boom. During the 1950s, the United States government made grant funding available to school divisions that were impacted by the rapid growth of the federal government workforce. School system records from 1957 show that the Fairfax County School Board received a funding appropriation from the federal government related to the Bristow School. The School Board officially named our school Braddock Elementary at its meeting on March 3, 1959. The construction of Braddock Elementary School progressed rapidly during the summer of 1959, but our school was not ready for opening day on September 1 because the floors were not finished. Our school originally had 20 classrooms with a capacity of 600 students, and cost $500,000 to build. Our first principal was Robert A. Wood.
Where did the name Braddock come from?
A New Beginning
On Sunday, February 23, 1964, a devastating fire tore through Braddock Elementary School. Nearly all of the 20 classrooms suffered damage by flames, smoke, or water. Braddock Elementary School’s 570 students finished out the school year at Thomas Jefferson High School. These students were the first pupils to attend classes in the high school because it was still under construction and was not scheduled to open until the following September. The damage to Braddock Elementary School was estimated at more than $200,000. The County Fire Marshall reported that the fire began in the main office, but the exact cause could not be determined because the intensity of the flames destroyed all traces of evidence. Reconstruction of our school commenced rapidly, and the School Board approved plans for a ten-room addition to our building at a cost of $138,440. In March 1964, Braddock Elementary School’s PTA sponsored a book fair at Annandale High School to raise money for the restoration of our school library. Construction was completed on schedule and Braddock Elementary School was ready for opening day in September 1964.