Kimball Jr/Sr High History
A county high school was established by a vote of the people in Kimball County in 1907. According to the September 5th and 19th issue of the Western Nebraska Observer, in 1907 the new school system was approved 114 to 76 under the supervision of the County Board of Commissioners and the County Superintendent.
The original curriculum contained manual training, domestic science elements of agriculture, normal training, and theory and practice of agriculture. Prior to that vote, the community of Kimball had their own high school, but agreed to discontinue its operation with the formation of the county high school. At this time, the school became known as Kimball County High School (KCHS).
It has been noted that the county high school opened its doors in 1908, being housed in the upper floors of the former Kimball High School building until 1910 when a new building, 36 feet by 74 feet, was constructed at a cost of $10,000. This county high school was the first actual all-county high school in operation in the state.
The United States Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act in 1917, which gave federal aid to the states for high schools that would include vocational training programs in their curriculum. The Kimball County High School was part of this program. In the 1930's, the classes in agriculture were held in the basement of the first high school building. Home economics classes were held in the basement of the new high school. Later in the 30's, classes in shop were held in the octagon shaped building on the fairgrounds.
The first gym for KCHS was built in 1915, by the manual training students at a total cost of $1,500. The school district provided $670, and the remainder of the cost was contributed by businessmen of the community.
On February 13, 1920, bids were let on a new county high school (seen at left). The low bidder was J.R. Tritt for $63,000. However, various complications eventually pushed the overall cost of the new school to approximately $132,000. Later in 1940 a west wing was added at a cost of $19,000. This building later was used from 1965 to 1997 as the Middle School (Grades 6-8) for Kimball Grade Schools. According to the Observer on June 4, 1925, the class of 1921 were the first graduates on May 27, 1921.
During the height of the oil and missile industry a new high school building was completed (at right) in May of 1965. The new home for KCHS students was completed at a cost of approximately $981,000. Later special building additions were added.
In 1969, a new athletic stadium was constructed at a cost of approximately $85,000, and later that year a new vocational building was completed that was to house an auto mechanics shop, machine shop, and drafting area at a cost of approximately $35,000. These 1969 additions were the showpiece of the educational community, as they were far superior to what any other school district the size of Kimball County High School had completed.
In 1997, due to declining enrollment and as a cost-effective measure, the building built in 1920 was no longer used as an educational facility. Grades 7 and 8 moved into the current high school building, built in 1965, and Grade 6 moved to Mary Lynch Elementary School.
In 2008, a new addition was completed on the south end of the school. The architect was Hewgley and Associates from North Platte and the contractor was Anderson and Shaw Construction from Scottsbluff. It contains a practice gym, wrestling deck, locker rooms, weight room, and two classrooms.