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History of Irvington School in Omaha

A country school that’s now engulfed by Omaha, the Irvington School was once a bastion of a small rural community. This is a history.

From a one-room schoolhouse to a fine 1920s school building, one country school served generations of farm kids before being closed. This is the history of Irvington School in present-day Omaha.

Irvington School North Omaha Nebraska
This circa 1910 pic shows the Irvington School, a one-room schoolhouse, with students and a teacher standing outside. The students are holding gardening tools including rakes, hoes and axes. It was located approximately where Sorenson Parkway meets Vernon Avenue.

Originally opened in the 1870s, the Irvington School served neighboring farm kids until it was closed. The first building was a one-room school house, and lasted from the 1880s through 1923.

The second Irvington School was designed by Charles W. Rosenberry and built in 1924 at 8920 Curtis Circle, originally called 6300 North 90th Street. A high school operated there from 1924 through 1958, too. As early as 1957, a petition called for the Irvington School District to merge with Omaha Public Schools. That happened in 1958. When the merger happened, the school board was promised by OPS that a new school called Irvington High School would be built soon afterward. In 1963, a school levy was passed to build Irvington High and Burke High. One was built, but Irvington wasn’t because of slow growth in that area of Omaha. When a new high school opened in 1971, it was called Northwest High.

Irvington School North Omaha Nebraska
This August 17, 1924 article shows the proposed new Irvington School at 8920 Curtis Circle.

After a lengthy federal court case focused on segregation during the 1970s, there were beginning conversations about building a new Irvington Elementary School in 1977. The second school building was closed permanently in 1980. There was a wake held for the school in April 1980, and an Irvington School Old Timers picnic was held annually for many years.

After several years as a private, conservative Christian school, the building still stands today. However, its now a private residence has had some questionable renovations. Only time will tell if this building can be restored for public use, maybe as a tourist site like a heritage museum for the northwest corner of Douglas County.

There is no historical designation for this building, and no marker signifies its importance or tells its story.

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