About Lakeland Elementary School

  • In 1954, the Lakeland School District voted to build a brick school building that brought together most of the one-room school houses in southern Branch County. The new Lakeland School, designed to host Kindergarten through 8th Grade, opened its doors for the first time in 1956. The school offered shop and home economics classes for the big kids, as well as the basics - reading, writing, and arithmetic. 8th Grade graduates could attend Coldwater High School on a tuition basis when they were done at Lakeland.

    Lakeland Elementary, circa 1950's  

    The first big change came about in 1963, when the voters of the Lakeland and Girard areas voted to annex their school systems to what was then called "The School District Of The City Of Coldwater". Lakeland then became a K-6 school. Our 7th and 8th Graders would go attend classes at the Roosevelt School, and later Legg Junior High School. An education at CHS would come without tuition charges to Lakeland-area parents.

    Al Clyne became the assistant superintendent following the consolidation vote, and helped to bring the district into the computer age during the late 60s and into the 70s. Mr. Lloyd Livermore was with us from the time of the consolidation vote right up to his retirement in the mid-1980s.

    Over time, our building needed to change to keep up with the growing student population. In addition to the west wing of the building, where the Kindergarten and Young Fives classes were, in the upper elementary wing were shop and home-ec rooms that needed to be remodeled into regular classrooms.

    Our school district reorganized again in the early 1980s. All the elementary schools that survived the heavy cutbacks became K-5 buildings, as 6th Grade was moved to Legg Middle School. It was then that Mrs. Sharon Franz became our principal. She stayed with us through the early part of the 21st century. Following Mrs. Franz was Mrs. Diane Riegel, Mrs. Michelle LaPratt, Mr. Seth Parker, Mr. David Disler, and currently, Mr. Gary Dancer.

    The Lakeland Library, in the 2001 building addition.  

    When the 2001 bond proposal passed, Lakeland gained a brand new school library - about twice the size of the old library, which became a computer lab. The south side of the property became a nature study center, and beginning in the 2011-12 school year, Lakeland became the home for all of Coldwater's 4th and 5th Grade students.

    Lakeland Elementary, circa 2013

    In 2017, a bond proposal was approved by district voters which included funding for a brand new 4th and 5th Grade elementary building, to be built across the street from Legg Middle School and the Dr. Robert W. Browne Aquatic Center, at the site of the former Coldwater Little League diamonds. Ground was officially broken on April 17, 2019.

    The new Lakeland Elementary School opened its doors to students for the first time on April 12, 2021. The old Lakeland property was sold to Branch County not long afterwards.

    An aerial view of the new Lakeland Elementary School.

    One thing that we hope won't change, though: the kids of our community will continue to excel at Lakeland!