Newton is part of the Newton-Conover City Schools, which is comprised of three elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools. In addition, a few higher educational institutions thrive in the area. In Hickory, which is a few miles away from Newton, Lenoir-Rhyne University prospers. This comprehensive liberal arts university offers degrees in over 60 academic areas, predominantly in education, business and counseling. Lenoir-Rhyne only has 1,500 students and is known to serve the non-traditional student. Catawba Valley Community College is also located in Hickory. This two-year institution offers students the chance to complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degree as well as over 90 different technical career training programs.
There are a wide variety of cultural and educational attractions in or near Newton. The Catawba County Historical Museum is an ideal stop for history buffs. This unique experience catalogs the hardy settlers of the Catawba River Valley who carved world-renowned furniture and a textile empire out of the backwoods. The American Dream truly comes to life with unique exhibits such as agricultural tools, handcrafted household cupboards, plantation desks, beds, tables, cradles, and miniature furniture samples that were shown by drummers, or early salesman. Other popular exhibits include military uniforms from the Civil War; two full-scale recreated antebellum parlors; and a historical pottery exhibit. Numerous events are held throughout the year at the museum, many of which are seasonal.
The Catawba Science Center features many unique exhibits, such as the Saltwater Gallery where one can see and touch different species of live sharks and stingrays! The Hall of Astronomy is another popular stop as one can explore the surface of Mars with a real life robot arm, view live images of the Solar System and create a dust devil. The Inventor’s Workshop is particularly fun for the whole family, as visitors can design their own invention, build rockets and experiment with circuits.
The Catawba County Council for the Arts provides and supports the creative community in Newton and the surrounding neighborhoods. The Council helps out the Hickory Museum of Art, the Hickory Choral Society, the Western Piedmont Symphony and the Hickory Community Theater. In addition, they run an arts magazine that is submitted to the community every other month. ArtBeat reports the activities that the Council is planning, as well as shows the diverse array of cultural events that are being offered in Newton.
Parks and Recreation
The city of Newton sponsors a number of athletic programs including softball, basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, golf and soccer. Sports programs are dependent on the season and are catered toward different age groups from the youth to the elderly.
Rock Barn Golf and Spa is the closest Golf Course to Newton. Located in Conover, this semi-private recreational resort is known as a ‘temple of relaxation’ that is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The Robert Trent Jones Course is the more challenging course and is a true championship course. Each hole has its own unique challenges due to the sprawling serene landscape that the course is built on. Since 2002, this course has been routinely ranked as the fourth best course in America by Golf Digest. The Tom Jackson Course is the shorter of the two, yet it provides its own unique challenges. The Resort is also home to a Spa, restaurant and an Equestrian Center, as well as a golf academy and Pro Golf Shop. In addition, the Greater Hickory Classic is held here every year.
A number of parks are located in Newton as well. The largest is Southside Park, a 27-acre passive park that is home to an amphitheater, volleyball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and a large open area for Frisbee, soccer, and kite flying. Northside/Broyhill Park is a neighboring park with a spacious lighted baseball field, youth basketball, soccer fields and four lighted tennis courts. East Park, Westside/Jaycee Park and Little Brook Park are also neighboring parks that are ideal for picnics and relaxing.
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