W. E. Waters Middle School is located in the Hampton Roads Community of Portsmouth, Virginia, a city of twenty nine square miles. Hampton Roads, with a population of 1.4 million, is the nation's 27th largest metropolitan area and home to one of the largest military complexes in the world. Bordered by four neighboring cities, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Portsmouth is within 750 miles of two-thirds of the nation's population and industrial activity. A vibrant community on the shore of the Elizabeth River, a tidal arm of the Chesapeake Bay, its preservation of old-world influences and a rich nautical heritage give the city a unique and irresistible charm. With prime land yet to be developed, residential and commercial areas are thriving and growing. Continued growth and success are its future. A perfect combination of the old and the new is what continues to energize the city of Portsmouth.
Cavalier Manor, the neighborhood in which the school is located, was developed in the fall of 1943, during World War II because there was a critical shortage of housing for defense workers in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and other government agencies in the area. Neighborhood Number 16, as it was called, began with the construction of Victory Manor, Cavalier Manor, and Lincoln Gardens. Gust Lane and Victory Boulevard bound this area on the east, the Norfolk and Western Railroad on the south, Interstate Highway 64 on the north, and the Portsmouth city line on the west. W. E. Waters Middle School is located in the center of Cavalier Manor.
W. E. Waters Middle School is named after Mr. William Emerson Waters, who was a teacher and principal of I. C. Norcom High School. He was well known for his civic, social, and religious contributions to the city of Portsmouth. The building was opened in September 1966, including grades six to nine with an enrollment of 800 students. It now has an enrollment of 603 students, a staff of 65 teachers, three administrators. a full time nurse, two counselors, two secretaries, seven cafeteria workers, and four custodians. In 1969, Waters received its junior high school accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.