Population: 470 students
School Mascot: Dragon
School Colors: Red and Black
Square Feet: 96,694 on 4 acres
Built In: 1925, renovations from 1988 through 1998 


Take the 501 North business exit off the Lynchburg Expressway. Turn right at second light onto Twelfth Street. Robert S. Payne is two blocks north on the right.

School Hours

8:35 a.m.-3:35 p.m.

School Year

Two semesters; four grading periods of nine weeks each


Robert S. Payne's dedicated staff is approximately 100 members strong.


VA Dept. of Education and Southern Assoc. of Colleges and Schools


Our active parents and partners volunteer to tutor, read to students, help in the media center, construct scenery for plays, and perform many other tasks to enrich our students.

School History

Robert S. Payne Elementary School (Old Payne School) was originally built on the corner of Polk and Twelfth Streets in 1885. The school was named after Dr. Robert Spottswood Payne, Chairman of the Lynchburg City School Board at the time. The facility was box-shaped with four classrooms on each of the three floors and a very small principal’s office. A board fence separated the boys’ yard from the girls’ yard. In 1940, an annex was built to house the lower grades while the upper grades were still taught in the old building.

The original building was torn down in 1952-53 in order to expand Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and all grades were transferred to the school’s present site (Twelfth and Floyd Streets). This building had formerly been the site of Robert E. Lee Junior High School, which had been built in 1925-26.  Robert S. Payne has undergone a series of extensive renovation projects and reached the completion of its final project with the installation of air conditioning.

Current Facilities

Today, Robert S. Payne Elementary School is a three-story building serving a student population of approximately 550. Its facility contains 40 classrooms, an administrative suite, nurse’s clinic, and a teacher’s lounge. Our facility is unique as an elementary school in that it houses a cafeteria, a large auditorium with balcony, an ample media center, and a full-size gymnasium. Its classrooms are spacious with many of them having a distant view of the city, surrounding counties, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The school covers two city-square blocks, satisfying the recreational and physical education needs of the students.  Robert S. Payne Elementary School is located in the heart of the inner-city of Lynchburg, surrounded by a residential neighborhood as well as area businesses.

Gifted Opportunities

Robert S. Payne is also home to the GO Center, a division-wide program for the academically gifted (grades 3-5). Click here for more information about the GO Center.

Registration InformationMore details about registering your student with LCS