Fort Worth Architect, Wiley G. Clarkson designed this school building as an adaptation of a Tudor Gothic style. This building is similar in appearance to his Administration Building of the Masonic Home and School of Texas. It is also similar in plan to Clarkson's W.C. Stripling Middle School in the Arlington Heights section of the city. The school was named after William James, a local tanner and saddle maker who helped organize the Polytechnic School District in 1906. William James Middle School as originally constructed was a U-shaped plan that was three stories tall. The main entrance, at the center of the building is located on the half level between the first and second floors. The first floor houses the locker rooms for athletics and the cafeteria. On the second floor are located the main office, the auditorium (over the cafeteria), and the gymnasium (over the locker rooms). The third floor houses classrooms and entrances to the balcony levels of the gym and the auditorium. In 1955, two small additions of two levels were made at the opposite ends of each wing that brought the original building configuration to an "H" shape. In 1990, a major three story addition was constructed to the back of the school with the lowest level reserved for future expansion. This first floor was open. In 2000, that lowest level was enclosed and completed.