New Granger Elementary School gets ready for opening

New Granger Elementary School gets ready for opening

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) -- Granger Elementary teachers and school officials spent part of the holiday break packing up boxes and moving them to a new building.

Classes in the brand new Granger Elementary are scheduled to begin Wednesday, ending a long moving process for the teachers and students.

"I would have rather visited my grandchildren on this break, but it's worth it," third-grade teacher Maxine Fothergill said. "It's so special to be a teacher in a new school."

The original Granger Elementary opened in 1955 before West Valley became a city. As the area developed, the school grounds grew closer to shopping areas and eventually the Granite School District sold the property and the old building was razed to make way for a Costco.

The new Granger Elementary is on the site of an old park.

"It's probably a pretty good example of getting things done if everybody wants to cooperate ... (and where) everyone walks away thinking, 'Wow, this was a great deal,"' said Brent Garlick, city director of redevelopment. "But it's very unusual, that project."

Rob Averett, district director of elementary school services, said Granite ended up paying about half of the $14.2 million tab for the new school.

The two-story, 94,000-square-foot building is about twice as big as the old school, Averett said. It includes plenty of natural light, a separate gym and cafeteria, two computer labs and is located at the center, rather than the edge, of its students' neighborhoods.

"This is such an improvement. It's one of the biggest elementary schools in Utah, and it's not because the population is so big; it's because we're providing rooms for every special program," Averett said. "This is Granite's very best work for disadvantaged children."

The new Granger Elementary lacked a few finishing touches last week. Artwork and playground equipment are still to come, but the classrooms are expected to be ready Wednesday.

Thursday, such as artwork and playground equipment. But classrooms -- teachers received two paid days and school let out early a few times to give them time to pack, Williamson said -- are expected to be ready by Wednesday.

"I think the children are going to be absolutely thrilled," first-grade teacher Mary Anne Fillmore said. "And I think it will be a life lesson: getting something new, you have to take wonderful care of it."


Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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