5608 Merle Hay Road · Johnston, Iowa 50131 · 515-278-0470

History of JCSD

1852    Brothers, Moses and John Lawson arrived and donated land for a school (Valley School which was located one mile east of current Lawson Elementary).  The current Lawson Elementary was named after John Lawson.

1914    Four rural schoolhouses consolidated to form a new district called “The Independent Consolidated School District of Webster and Jefferson Townships of Polk County Iowa”.  The four schools that joined together where Valley Grade School (located one mile east of present Lawson Elementary); Friars Grade School (located one quarter mile west of the present high school); Ridgedale Grade School (located across from Hyperion); and Rider School (located in the far southwestern corner of the present school district).

1915    A new K-9 building was built on land donated by Ben McKee family (where the fire station now sits)

1917    Siebert Grade School (located in west Johnston) was added to the school district and the district name was changed to “The Consolidated Independent District of Johnston, Iowa”

1919    School became a K-12 building.

1920    First high school graduation held and school certified as an accredited high school

1932    The first school student council was organized and the school colors were changed from blue and white to yellow and blue and later to purple and gold (1936?).

1943    Mr. Hobart A. Ross donated land and a home to care for boys with nowhere else to go. It was called the Y.M.C.A. Boys Home of Iowa.  The name changed to Youth Homes of Mid-America in 1987.   JCSD currently has an education facility that is used on campus for education of students that must remain on campus.

1946    A contest was held to adopt a school name/mascot.  The football team of 1946 was the first “Dragon” team.  The name was suggested by Adriana Ansley, then a junior and member of the 1947 class.  Adriana graduated from North High School, but a dragon sculpture sits in the trophy case in honor of her.

1950    Due to growth and lack of space, some students attended classes at the barracks at Camp Dodge until 1968

1958    An elementary school was built and called Johnston Elementary.  It was the north wing of the current Lawson Elementary prior to the south wing being added in 1968 and remodeled in 1997.

1962    The school district was expanded with acquisition of the Herrold District and name changed to “The Johnston Community Schools”

1968    South wing added to Lawson Elementary

1968    School district purchased building at corner of 62nd and 59th Court.  It was a warehouse and administrative offices.  This building was torn down in 2000

1974    High School built at current location with additional rooms added over next five years with additional space added in 1994 and additional space added in 2008

1985    Middle School built at current location and remodeled in 1991

1985    Old schoolhouse (that was located where fire station is now) was demolished

1988    Wallace Elementary was built at current location with an addition in 1991

1990    School district offices move to building west of Wallace Elementary

1997    Beaver Creek Elementary built and opens doors

2000    District purchases Pioneer building to become Johnston Administrative Resource Center, housing district-wide staff and departments

2001    Horizon Elementary built and opens doors

2004    Summit Middle School built and opens doors.  This facility includes the first indoor pool for the district.

2006    Tennis facility (restrooms/storage/concessions) built by the tennis courts.

2007    Artificial turf added to the stadium.

2007    Timber Ridge Elementary built and opens doors.  Johnston Middle School had renovation work done that moved the library and cafeteria to where the other used to be.  JMS school administrative wing was added at the southeast main entrance that used to be open walkway.

2008     High School renovation completed that added 16 classrooms, vocal music room, physical education/wellness wing, AD offices, and expanded the cafeteria

2012 Lawson addition completed adding 8 new classrooms and renovated cafeteria/kitchen.

2012 Summit second floor addition to the east wing completed that added eight additional classrooms.

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