Grade School

 

Many of us who graduated from Westside High School attended one of the three District 66 grade schools which fed the high school.   Those original three grade schools - Loveland (K-8), Oakdale (K-8), and Underwood (K-12 until Westside opened) have picture pages here.  And there's an added page for the first two years after Westside Jr/Sr High opened as we continued there in 7th and 8th grade.

A few of us were lucky enough to start kindergarten in District 66 and continue all the way to our high school graduation.  Some transferred out to other schools along the way, and many more transferred in as Omaha expanded west and District 66 grew.  But for those of us who started early (and more who joined us by the time we made it to 7th grade at Westside), these Grade School pictures will bring back memories.

 

History - Loveland School It all began with a man named A. J. Love, a successful dairy farmer with acres of land in what was then the western outskirts of Omaha, far beyond the city limits .  In the mid-1920s, he began selling plots of his land to residents of Omaha hoping to escape city life.  That area became the "Pacific Territory" and its residents decided to build a school for their children, allowing them to avoid a 2 1/2 mile walk to the nearest school.  Homeowners took their idea to the Nebraska Legislature, which responded by passing a bill creating District 65, or Loveland School.

Loveland School was built In the spring and summer of 1932.  Residents watched with anticipation as their $20,000 project took shape.  It was designed to look exactly like houses in the area, so that if the school were to ever close as the population expanded, it could be sold as a private residence.

On opening day in 1932 an Omaha World-Herald reporter praised the building, saying "Who ever heard of a rural school with inlaid floors, soundproofed walls and ceilings, running water, electricity, luncheon room, modern kitchen, library, auditorium, drinking fountains inside and out, movable desks, and a globe that lowers from the ceiling by a chain?"  Forty students attended Loveland that day, along with their two teachers, one of whom also acted as principal.

In 1947, Loveland merged with Underwood Hills and Oakdale schools to form District 66.  Loveland School's appearance has changed slightly over the years with additions in 1951, 1954, and 1997.  Renovations were made in 1973 and 1985.  The building maintains its "homelike" exterior, but is currently able to serve over 300 students.

The land of A. J. Love, Loveland Elementary’s namesake, has developed into more than just Loveland School.  Westside High School, Countryside Community Church, Countryside Village, and many fine homes have since been built on Love's land.

 

History - Oakdale School
Before District 66 was formed, Oakdale was part of District 31, known as Oak Park School District.  Oakdale Elementary School was built in 1871, and it consisted of a one room school house with forty students.  District 31 merged with District 65 (Loveland), and District 46 (Underwood Hills) in 1947, creating a new District 66.  Present day Oakdale School will begin a reconstruction project beginning in January 2016.  Completion of the new Oakdale School is scheduled for January 2018.

 

History - Underwood Hills School
Located at 78th & Cass Street just across from Peony Park, Underwood Hills was originally a Douglas county school as District 46 and was a grade school and high school then.  In 1947 District 46 merged into District 66.  Underwood continued as the area high school until Westside was opened in 1952.  The school was finally relocated to a new location at 9030 Western Ave, now holding Underwood Hills Early Learning Center and Underwood Hills Focus School.  The original building was used as the District 66 Administrative Headquarters for years, but the old school was eventually demolished and the location is now home to a strip mall and restaurant. 

 



     
   
 
Loveland
 
5 Photos  10/6/13
 
     
   
 
Oakdale
 
4 Photos  9/2/13
 
     
   
 
Underwood
 
11 Photos  8/6/17
 
     
   
 
Westside
 
10 Photos  10/18/14