Central Square / Glenwood High School

Glenwood 150th logoThis post is part of a collection of posts written in 2016 for Glenwood’s 150 year celebration. To see the map and full list of locations included in the walking tour, click here.

Central Square – 105 2nd Avenue NE

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The auditorium was dedicated on May 28, 1937, as an addition to Glenwood Central High School. When the school closed in 1991, the building with the historic auditorium and gymnasium were preserved and rededicated as Central Square on June 10, 1995. With 1044 seats, the auditorium provides West Central Minnesota with one of the largest, entertainment facilities between Minneapolis and Fargo.


A little history of the schools in Glenwood:

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The first schoolhouse is on the far right in this image.

The first school in Glenwood was a small woodframe building that stood where the Sacred Heart Rectory stands today. It was built in 1869 and burned down in 1873. The remainder of the school year was held in Bartke Hall.

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The second school was a two story brick building built in 1874 at 219 1st Street SE. The current building at that site is owned by Glacial Ridge Health System, but was recently used as the Early Childhood Education Facility. This building stood until 1910, when it was torn down to make room for school number 4.

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Third School House.

The third school was built in 1899 on the west end of what is now Central Square. The community needed two school buildings to meet the needs of the growing population. This building burned down in 1935.

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The fourth school was built in 1910 when the second building was deemed too small. It was used until the late 1930s when school number 6 was completed. The building was later used for the National Youth Administration vocation school and later sold to the VFW. It burned down in 1951.

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The fifth school was built in 1916, when the two existing buildings were filled to capacity. This building was constructed on the east side of what is now Central Square to be the high school and was in continuous use until 1991 when all the high schools in Pope County consolidated together and built Minnewaska Area High School. This structure was torn down in 1994 as part of the Central Square redevelopment.

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The sixth Glenwood school and the one still standing today was built in 1936 on the site of the third school and included a large auditorium. This building was connected directly to the 1916 building, creating one large school utilized by all the students in Glenwood. This was used as a school until 1991. Now, it is Central Square – a civic and cultural center that features condominiums, offices, art and recreation classes and a large entertainment venue.


In 1964, a new elementary school opened, known as Prospect Park Elementary School, it was expanded in 1974 and again in 1988. It was renamed E.N. Nordgaard and is still in operation today – now known as Minnewaska Elementary.

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2 Responses to Central Square / Glenwood High School

  1. jekscience says:

    Reblogged this on jekscience and commented:
    I’ve been trying to reach out to people that attended Glenwood HS from 1977-1980. My mom attended at that time, and passed away in 2014. I’m trying to put together some things for our grandmother and my siblings, but most of Mom’s things were destroyed in a flood when we were children. I’m hoping someone still has one of their yearbooks, that I might get photos from. She was in many clubs, and it would be wonderful to get photos and memories of her time there.

    In my digging, I found this post from the Pope County Museum. It’s amazing to hear all the school has gone through in it’s time.

    • Ann says:

      We have a complete set of Glenwood High School yearbooks here at the museum. There are also newspapers, photographs, and artifacts. We are open from 10-5 Tuesday-Saturday if you can stop in. Or send an e-mail with more information, such as your mother’s name, and we can assist with specific research requests. Thanks!

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