Learning Lunch: Bond elections of 1919,1924

When Ed Zimmer worked for the City of Lincoln Planning Department in the 1980s, real estate developers would ask him, “Where are all the old schools that we can convert into apartments?”

Zimmer would reply, “They’re where they always were and they’re full of kids.”

His answer spoke to the quality and upkeep of schools throughout Lincoln Public Schools, many of which have stood the test of time for 100 years or more. On Tuesday, he talked more about school buildings that were constructed as a result of bond elections in 1919 and 1924. Zimmer, now historic preservation planner for the City of Lincoln, was the featured speaker at the first LPS Learning Lunch of the 2019-20 season, “Housing the Students of a Growing City: The Bond Elections of 1919 and 1924.”

Lincolnites voted in favor of a $2 million bond election in 1919 and a $3 million bond election in 1924. The 1919 election funded the construction of elementary schools such as Belmont, Hartley, Prescott and Clinton - schools that are still in use today. The 1924 election funded elementary schools such as Randolph, Clinton and Sheridan, as well as what is now called Irving Middle School - also schools that are still in use.

“All through the city these beautiful buildings are still supporting the children who live in those neighborhoods,” said Zimmer, a former member of the Lincoln Board of Education.

The 1919 election had low voter turnout and easily passed by a tally of 1,391 to 440. The 1924 election, on the other hand, was much closer and passed only by a few percentage points.

Zimmer said winning bond elections - in any era - are usually successful because they focus on broad-based community discussions about the needs of the school district and its long-term vision.

“I don’t think that ever changes.”

The remaining Learning Lunch schedule for 2019-20:

September 17 - "Digital Protections: How LPS Cares for our Students in the Online World"

The dedication LPS has to protecting students physically is apparent everywhere we look in our schools. What's less visible are the ways we are committed to protecting students digitally. Join the LPS Ed Tech Team for a walk-through of the invisible but critical ways we care for our kids in the online world. Presenters: Chris Pultz, Tim Hahn, Jarred Rowe, all from LPS Computing Services.

Oct. 15 - "ABCs of Teaching English to Immigrant/Refugee Students"

Basics of English Language Learners: How do you teach students who cannot speak English? Presenters: Laura Salem, LPS English Language Learners program supervisor, and Kate Damgaard, LPS language curriculum specialist.

Nov. 19 - "Meeting the Needs of All Students: Supporting our Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing"

This session will provide an introduction to the supports, technology and services provided in our district for one of the fast-growing disability areas within LPS. Presenters: Alisha Bollinger, Special Education supervisor.

Dec. 17 - "SROs: Understanding this Important Job"

School Resource Officers wear many hats during their shift: mentor, teacher, investigator, guardian. Come hear how Lincoln Public Schools and the Lincoln Police Department have partnered to ensure our SROs successfully serve our students and staff. Presenters: Joe Wright, director of Security at LPS, and a representative from Lincoln Police Department.

Jan. 14 - "Ensuring Students Have Adequate Learning Environments"

Update on the 10-year LPS Facility and Infrastructure Plan. Presenter: Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs

Feb. 18 - "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution"

LPS Government students have the opportunity to showcase their civic and Constitutional knowledge through the "We the People" program and competition. Presenter: Jaci Kellison, K-12 curriculum specialist, social studies

March 17 - "The Importance of Our Guest Teachers in LPS"

The job of being a substitute teacher can be challenging, yet rewarding. This session will provide information about being a substitute teacher in Lincoln Public Schools and the opportunities that are available for professional growth and development. Presenters: Vann Price, LPS Human Resources Department supervisor for secondary personnel, and Kren Shellhase, administrative assistant.

April 21 - "Take Charge, Career Readiness and Financial Responsibility: Lessons in Career and Personal Finance"

Lessons from the classroom in teaching young people responsibility in career and personal finance. Presenters: Julie Hippen, assistant curriculum specialist for career and technical education, along with teachers and students.

May 12 - "Creating Music on a Blank Canvas"

The final Learning Lunch of the school year will focus on the creative aspect of music. All six LPS high schools offer various music courses that empower and foster students to learn the creative process of music composition and improvisation. Some of our talented high school students will share their experiences, inspiration and performances of creating their own original music. Presenter: Lance Nielsen, LPS supervisor of Music.

Published: August 21, 2019, Updated: August 23, 2019

"All through the city these beautiful buildings are still supporting the children who live in those neighborhoods."

Ed Zimmer, historic preservation planner for City of Lincoln