In 1958 E. Oren Smith, a Columbus architect, and the Muscogee County School District planned a new junior high. Construction began in the spring of 1959 and was completed in November 1959. Students were pulled out of other schools to form the student body of this new junior high.
The school was initially named Clover Hill Junior High after the subdivision in which it was built. On January 19, 1960, the school was named and dedicated in the honor of Robert M. Arnold, who served on the Muscogee County School Board from 1922 to 1949 and contributed greatly to the school system. Due to the fact that Mr. Arnold was a lawyer by profession, he was further honored by naming the school annual the Barrister, the name of an English lawyer. At this time the ram, a symbol of strength and leadership was named the school mascot and the official colors were designated to be green and white. Later in 1971, Coach Paul Peoples added the color orange to the official colors to be used only as a highlight color.
The building remained the same until 1964 when the annex was built. The annex (8th grade hall) added nine new classrooms. In 1982, the annex was expanded and remodeled to include the media center. Classrooms were carpeted and air – conditioned largely due to the efforts of the 1981 – 1982 PTA. The PTA was also responsible for air – conditioning, enlarging, and remodeling the kitchen, band room and industrial shop areas. The PTA’s from 1982 – 1987 worked to further the air – conditioning project. This was completed in 1990 by the school system.
The principals were Mr. Carl Sasser from 1958 to 1967, Mr. Herschel Jones from 1967 to 1980, Mr. Sam Tucker from 1980 to 1984, Charlie Roberts 1984 to 1991, Ruth Hamlin from 1991 to 1999, Jose Negron from 1999 to 2007, Lura Reed from 2007 to 2013, and Dr. Brenda Badura began with the 2013 school year.
Highlights of accomplishments:
1991 became Arnold Middle School from Arnold Junior High School
1996 Georgia School of Excellence
1998 Renovations made and new wing (6th grade hall) added
2000 6th grade was added
2001 became Arnold Magnet Academy – 6th graders were first magnet group.
2008 received Bronze Award for Student Achievement from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
October 30, 2009 – 50th Anniversary Celebration