History of Grantsville and its High School
Tooele County is the eighth largest county in Utah and covers 7,287 square miles with a population of 58,218. (www.co.tooele.ut.us, December, 2014). Tooele County, which sits mostly between the Oquirrh Mountains to the east and the Onaqui and Stansbury mountains to the west, is composed of five main communities: Tooele, Grantsville, Stansbury Park, Dugway Proving Grounds, and Wendover. All communities are serviced by Tooele County School District. In 1884 the area that would become Grantsville was a popular grazing ground for the Salt Lake Valley stockmen, with the most notable being Brigham Young. In the 1850’s the area was named Willow Creek. The name was later changed to Grantsville in honor or George D. Grant, leader of a military force sent to control the hostile Native Americans (www.onlineutah.com, December, 2014). The city was incorporated 12 January 1867, and by 1910 Grantsville had a population of only 1,000. According to the US Census Bureau, Grantsville’s population reached 6,015 in 2006 and is currently experiencing a 2.4% growth rate (www.co.tooele.ut.us, December, 2014). Tooele is the largest town and the county seat of Tooele County. Grantsville is the second largest incorporated town and is made up of multiple generations of several core families, yet steady growth has brought in many with no ties to early Grantsville. Grantsville is predominantly a rural community and is located approximately 33 miles from Salt Lake City. Stansbury Park, once considered the most affluent area of the county, is composed mostly of people who commute to the Salt Lake area for employment. The commuters find it is easier to and cheaper to live 20-30 miles from their work place and commute, than to purchase homes in the Salt Lake area with higher price tags. With the projected rate of growth of Tooele County over the next several years it will only be a matter of time before the three main communities merge into a joined urban area. The merge is something that will be met with resistance, but it will not be able to be stopped. If the three communities merge together into one, there is fear that each will lose its own, unique, individual identity. Salt Lake Valley, over time and due to growth, blended its separate cities into one identifiable geographic area. Like the Salt Lake Valley, Tooele County will follow suit.
Tooele County School District (TCSD) had experienced fast-paced growth. In the fall of 1995, district wide enrollment was 7,771 students. In August of 2005, the student population had reached 11, 793; an increase of 4,022 students in only 10 years (www.tooeleschools.org, 2014). This growth has slowed for the school district due to economic reasons as well as the opening of two Charter Schools. Geographically TCSD is one of the largest school districts in the state. TCSD is currently comprised of five traditional high schools, located in Tooele, Grantsville, Dugway, Wendover and Stansbury Park as well as an alternative high school also located in Tooele. Since the previous accreditation of 2009, Grantsville High’s population has decreased from 1,300 to 767 students; this is due to the opening of Stansbury High in 2009.
Grantsville High School has undergone major changes since its incorporation in September, 1913. In February, 1984 the school was the victim of a fire, and as a result the majority of the building was burned to the ground. The rebuilding of the school was completed by fall of 1985. In the coming years, Grantsville High was asked to absorb the population growth from the steadily increasing Stansbury Park area. In June of 2000 TCSD proposed a bond, in which part of the monies were allocated to support new additions to Grantsville High. As a result, the school was able to add 14 new classrooms, four new special education classrooms, a new counseling center, with a conference room, an attendance office, two computer rooms, a new writing lab, a spacious library, a dance room, a choral room, a wrestling room, five coaches’ offices and locker facilities, and a teacher’s work area. A new football stadium was built which has the capacity to accommodate 2,500 spectators. A greenhouse was also built that serves the needs of the agricultural science department. All construction projects were completed by June 2002. With the continued growth and prior to the opening of Stansbury High, Grantsville High had incorporated six portable classrooms to help with influx of students. By the summer of 2009, the portable classrooms were removed from Grantsville High. The community of Grantsville has a strong sense of ownership and pride in its school. Grantsville High is steeped in its traditions and ways, which are evident by the fact that it is the heart of the community with many annual, community events taking place within its walls.