The Bradford Special School District was established through a private legislature act in 1917. For the following sixty years the system operated as both an independent district and as a part of the Gibson County School System until July 1977 when the board of trustees, fearing consolidation, voted to become an independent operating system. During the summer of 1978, the old high school building burned. It had been the central building for the school system since the early 1900s but was condemned by the state fire marshal in 1974. It was during this time that the local board had to make a decision as to whether to consolidate with Gibson County, or attempt to become an independent district. A majority of the board wanted to become a special school district. The board had recently purchased a tract of land on which to build a new high school, but the citizens of Bradford overwhelmingly favored rebuilding on the same lot, therefore construction was begun in 1979 with a three phase plan and was completed in 1981. The building housed grades 7 12 with a total student population of approximately 320 students. The numbers have consistently remained about the same for the past twenty years.