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CPS History

Time Line

Columbus Public School Time Line

1860-61 — Columbus forms a school district after the first school building is donated. The log cabin was previously used as a company home by the Columbus Town Site Co. The district sold the house the following year.

1861-68 — The first new school building was constructed and served as the school for seven years before it was sold to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which allowed the city to use the space for City Hall. The Mormons owned the building from 1871 to 1915, when it was converted to a Jewish synagogue.

1881-83 — Columbus Public Schools rented the First Congregational Church building along 22nd Street north of Ninth Street for use as a high school. The building was constructed from some of the wood transported on the first carload of commercial freight on the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha.

1883-1898 — The Second Ward/Williams building located at 2316 Ninth St. was the first brick school structure in Columbus. It cost $12,000 to build. A 1929 article in the high school publication “The Discoverer” reported that 25 students were enrolled at the school in 1883.

That school was also the location of the first high school graduation ceremony held for four students in 1885.

“At the time of the first commencement exercise there was no musical instrument in the Columbus school system so an organ was borrowed for the occasion,” The Discoverer reported.

A Columbus Telegram article from 1985, celebrating the 100th graduating class from Columbus Public Schools, said Williams Elementary School was built on the same location.

  • Columbus Telegram Editor's note: There is some debate over which building served as the high school from 1883-98, with multiple buildings referenced in different publications.

1898-1925 — A new Columbus High School at 2300 16th St. cost $25,000 to build and accommodated 99 students.

1910 — Columbus High graduated 19 students.

1925-58 — Kramer High School, which currently serves as Columbus Middle School, was named after Carl Kramer, who served on the board of education for more than 30 years. It was built at 2400 16th St., next to the previous high school, at a cost of $300,000.

High school students moved into the Kramer building and the old high school became a middle school.

1926 — The Columbus High School sailboat emblem, Christopher Columbus mascot and team name Discoverers were chosen from a contest to represent the school.

1935 — Columbus High graduated 125 students.

1958-2017 — The high school at 2200 26th St. cost $1.6 million to build. This building will become a middle school for 2017-18.

The Kramer school became Columbus Middle School in 1958. The old middle school building next door was torn down in May 1958 to make room for an athletic field.

1960 — Columbus High graduated 148 students.

1985 — Columbus High celebrated its graduation centennial with events such as inviting all past homecoming kings and queens to the homecoming football game, where a march composed by a 1934 graduate was played by the band.

Columbus graduated 203 students that year.

2007 — A $17.7 million renovation project at Columbus High is completed, adding 29,000 square feet of space and upgrading infrastructure and the auditorium.

Fall 2014 — Construction begins on the new $50 million Columbus High School near Lost Creek Parkway and 33rd Avenue.


The Discoverer, Jan. 25. 1929

The Daily Telegram, March 17, 1959

The Columbus Telegram, May 17, 1985

The Columbus Telegram, Oct. 24, 1999

The Columbus Telegram, March 9. 2017

Jerry Kneifel