September 12, 2007 marked the 75th anniversary of the first day of school at Loveland Elementary. Many changes have taken place since its opening day in 1932.
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. 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 next nearest school. Homeowners took their idea to the Nebraska Legislature, which responded by passing a bill creating District 65, or Loveland School.
In the spring and summer of 1932, Loveland School was built. Residents watched with anticipation as their $20,000 project took shape. It was intended to look exactly like houses in the area, so that if the school were to ever close, 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, and many fine homes have since been built on Love’s land.