Our school was named after Mr. A.B. Newell, a longtime Grand Island school board member. Albert Bulkley Newell was born September 16, 1877, in Glenvil, Nebraska and moved to Grand Island in 1921. Mr. Newell served on the Board of Education from 1923 until his death in 1950. Our school was dedicated November 10, 1955, in his memory.
Newell Elementary 1955
Grand Island was growing after the war and it soon became evident that a new school would be needed to serve the city. Newell was built on the western rim of Grand Island, and, as seen in the photograph, was next to a cornfield. It was a single unit school serving grades K-6. Our student enrollment was about 170. The school, with a footage of 15,308 square feet, was built for $188,782.
Newell Elementary 1970
By 1967 it was evident to the Board of Education that Newell needed to be enlarged. With an already crowded enrollment of 236 which was expected to climb to 341 by 1970 something had to be done. The new addition included 6 more classrooms and a multi-purpose gymnasium. The 16,000 square foot addition cost an estimated $300,000.
Newell Elementary 1980 to Present
Newell School, only 8 years after expanding to a double unit school, now needed to be a triple unit school. Grand Island was growing to the west and adding to Newell's student population. Corn fields gave way to subdivisions. Plans were made to add a new media center, office, teacher's work room and study, 9 new classrooms and a central multi-purpose area. Teachers and parents were involved in the planning which produced a beautiful new 35,000 square foot addition, doubling the size at a cost of just over $1,000,000. The new addition was dedicated on October 21, 1980.
Beginning with the 1997 school year, Newell has moved to a K-5 elementary. Grand Island Schools moved to a middle school concept. The current enrollment is approximately 350 students.