Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper announcement of the opening of the new Jefferson High School, The History Center clipping files, 4/6/1958.
Plans for a new west side Cedar Rapids high school were first discussed shortly after the end of World War II. At that time, Roosevelt and Wilson were functioning as six-year high schools, as they had since fall 1935. Large new residential neighborhoods were planned in the early 1950’s between the newly created Williams Boulevard SW and the extension of 16th Avenue SW (then Highway 30). Land was set aside for a new west side high school to be built within these new neighborhoods. The Thomas Jefferson name was selected for the new high school. The city had not had a Jefferson School since the old Jefferson Elementary School, which closed on the east side of Cedar Rapids in the late 1920’s. Originally, the new high school was intended to open in fall 1957, but construction problems and delays meant that Jefferson High would not open until April 1958. Once opened, Wilson and Roosevelt returned to their original function as junior high (middle) schools. Go J-Hawks!