Military Format Begun

A program of military instruction including uniforms and use of Civil War style muskets during military drill was adopted by the academy by 1880. The only precedent for such an idea in Virginia was the operation of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, thus, Roller’s school became the first of several military preparatory schools in the state. Roller built his family home on the property he had purchased and over a period of several years constructed a group of frame buildings extending in a line parallel to the Valley Pike, most of which were later torn down to make way for more permanent structures, including Main Barracks which was first occupied in 1917.

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