L.O. Jacob Elementary School held its school closing celebration event on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Listed in this photo album are photos taken at the event. Click here to read more school memories in the A-H Newsroom.
What is now the city of Coon Rapids was at one point divided into several small school districts, each with a small school. When a school burned down in 1919, three of these districts (plus a district in Blaine) consolidated in 1920 to provide a better education for their children.
A new school board was elected, including member L.O. Jacob, and planning began for Coon Rapids School, which was built in 1921 with four classrooms and a combination gymnasium-auditorium. As the population grew over the years, the need for classroom space grew. Additions were built in 1941, 1951, 1955 and 1965.
In honor of the contributions of L.O. Jacob, the Coon Rapids School was later renamed L.O. Jacob Elementary in 1959. Jacob played a significant role in agricultural development for the community and introduced new techniques for farming and irrigation. Jacob also served on the consolidated school board for nearly 30 years (and later on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board) and helped establish Coon Rapids School, the county's first consolidated elementary school in Coon Rapids.
He also served on the survey committee, along with Leland Sorteberg (whom Sorteberg Elementary was named after), which recommended the consolidation of small school districts into what is now the Anoka-Hennepin School District. The committee was elected in 1947 and presented its final report in 1951.
Due to school closings, attendance boundaries in much of Coon Rapids will change beginning with the 2010-11 school year. L.O. Jacob students will attend Adams, Hamilton, Hoover and Mississippi schools. The L.O. Jacob facility will become the River Trail Learning Center at L.O. Jacob this fall, as it's repurposed to house the district's Bell Center program and will remain the oldest school in use in Coon Rapids.