Skip to content

District History

The Linn-Mar Community School District currently serves more than 7,800 students in 12 buildings.

Through the years, Linn-Mar patrons have demonstrated pride in their schools by supporting financial, curricular, and extracurricular projects and activities.

District Beginnings

1948 – The Linn-Mar Community School District was formed in 1948 when 17 one-room rural schools joined together to build the Marion Rural Independent Grade School.

1949- 287 students attend the new Marion Rural Independent School 1/2 mile north of Marion. The location is now known as the intersection of North 10th Street and 29th Avenue.  The building later became the Learning Resource Center

1959 – High School opened.

1961 – Indian Creek Elementary opened. Five acres of land were purchased for $11,125 to construct the building. It was designed to educate the district’s youngest students. The original building included the office and the current kindergarten classrooms. The first of many additions was in 1962, the multi-purpose room/cafeteria.

1962 – The property purchased for Indian Creek Elementary was determined to be large enough for a football and track facility behind the school. The first football game at the new stadium was played on September 18, 1962.
Unfortunately, Coggon defeated Linn-Mar 27 to 0. In 1970 it was named Armstrong Field in honor of the volunteer team doctor who was killed in a plane crash. The facility was upgraded over the years. The track was reconstructed with an all-weather surface, the first of its kind in Iowa. Due to frequent flooding from Indian Creek, the stadium was relocated to its present location in 2011.

1963 – Junior High School opened.

1966 – Wilkins Elementary opened.

1968 – Bowman Woods Elementary opened.

Renovations, Additions, and New Construction

1975 – Educational Services Center and Buildings and Grounds buildings added to the junior/senior high campus.

1980 – Additions to the junior/senior high schools.

1995 – New media centers and remodeling at Indian Creek and Bowman Woods Elementary, 14-room addition to junior/senior high. Linn-Mar Intermediate School opened.

1997 – District patrons passed a $25 million bond levy for the construction of a new elementary building (Westfield Elementary) and extensive expansion and/or renovation projects in virtually all of the other buildings in the district, including a new auditorium and a new gymnasium for the High School.

1999 – Westfield Elementary opened in November.

New gymnasiums and classroom additions to Wilkins and Indian Creek Elementary and a two-story addition to the Intermediate School to change to a middle school. A new gymnasium was added to the High School.

The district changed from a K-4, 5–6, 7–8, 9–12 grade configuration to a K-5 elementary level, 6–8 middle school, and 9–12 high school.


A New Century: Student Populations Continue to Grow

2001 – In March, district residents passed a $12 million bond issue to construct a K-8 building, Oak Ridge, on the west side of the district. This was a new concept for the district and a solution to overflow in those grade levels. When a new elementary school was needed, Oak Ridge would become the district’s second middle school.

2000 – New High School auditorium and Gymnasium completed

2003 – In August, Oak Ridge School opened as a K-8 school in August. It is now Oak Ridge Middle School, grades 6-8.

2007 – Voters in Linn County approved a 10-year School Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) Sales Tax on February 13, 2007. SILO tax revenues were distributed across all school districts in Linn County for the first five years of the tax.

Having received voter approval of over 75% in January 2006, the district constructed two new elementary schools and made renovations to the High School and Novak Elementary. Linn Grove Elementary opened in the Fall of 2007. Echo Hill Elementary opened the following year north of Oak Ridge Middle School. The January 2006 bond referendum was for $27.5 million.

2008 – The Iowa Legislature passed SAVE legislation which extended the penny sales tax for schools to 2029 and created an average per student allocation for school districts across the state. The increase in the sales and use tax from 5% to 6% was intended to replace the 1% SILO tax that had been in effect. The average per student allocation in FY 2011 was $800.20.

2009 – Linn-Mar celebrated 60 years. Click here for 60th anniversary newsletter.


Creating Improved Learning Environments

2010- To date, SILO revenue has allowed the district to build the new Novak Elementary school (completed June 2010), air condition five schools (Westfield and Novak completed Fall 2009) (Bowman Woods, Indian Creek, and Wilkins completed Fall 2010), construct a 6,000 seat multi-purpose stadium, install additional high school parking (completed Spring 2011), purchase property to relocate Transportation and Operations & Maintenance (completed Fall 2010), relocate the baseball and softball fields to the Oak Ridge property, and build an indoor aquatics center. The Board is forward-focused, anticipating growth, and has purchased nearly 100 acres in anticipation of a new school building sometime in the next decade.

2011-12 In February 2011, Linn-Mar voters approved to extend the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy to June 30, 2015. PPEL is the main revenue source for maintenance of infrastructure investments that allows local schools to support infrastructure and equipment needs. Roofs, windows, heating and cooling equipment, flooring, plumbing, and parking lot upgrades and repairs are funded through this levy. The district is committed to energy-efficient buildings and is continually evaluating efficiencies. The new Linn-Mar Stadium opened in 2011 and was followed by the opening of the Aquatic Center in 2012.

2015-17 – The district began a $30 million dollar renovation and improvement project at Linn-Mar High School. It was completed in 2017. It included the demolition of a portion of the original 1959 building to allow for the construction of additional air-conditioned classroom space and the Pride Rock Commons. The original front entrance of the high school remains. It is now known as the four corners. The hallway intersection was widened to accommodate the growing number of students. The current four corners area originally housed all the administrative and counseling offices for the high school. The renovation project also included the addition of the South Commons.

2018-19 – In September 2018 district voters approved a $55 million dollar bond referendum to allow for the construction of two new intermediate schools. A double groundbreaking ceremony was held June 27, 2019, first at the site of Hazel Point Intermediate followed by another ceremony at Boulder Peak.

2020- The district changed from a K-5, 6-8, 9–12 grade configuration to a K-4 elementary, 5-6 intermediate, 7–8 middle school, and 9–12 high school.

Monday, September 14th, Hazel Point and Boulder Peak Intermediate Schools opened their doors to students. The start of the 2020-21 school year was delayed by three weeks due to a major windstorm on August 10th, 2020 that caused significant damage to several district facilities, including the new intermediate buildings. The gym roofs at Boulder Peak and Hazel Point sustained damage, causing water to ruin the new gym floors, They were replaced, but were not ready for the first day of classes.

2023- Construction began on a new administration building at the corner of Tower Terrace and Winslow Roads east of Excelsior Middle School.

Building and Construction History 1948-2011

Capital Projects History 2006-2016

Capital Projects History 2010-2021