Maxwell Elementary School was built in 1903 on land that included a spring known as Maxwell's Spring. It was named for John Maxwell, one of the founders of Lexington. It opened on Sept. 6, 1904 and was originally named 5th Ward School. As the seventh school built by the Lexington City Schools, it sat at the edge of the city limits in newly annexed land surrounded by cornfields. A gym was added in the 1920s. In 1971, the original building was razed and a new school built on the same site.