Past to present, Granite Falls celebrates a new beginningBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Granite Falls stepped into the 21st century last week in a dedication ceremony of its new state-of-the-art high school.
The two-story, 133,000 square foot building was designed with form and functionality in mind keeping the natural beauty that surrounds the campus in focus.
From the large glass windows in the front and rear of the auditorium and commons to the courtyards that were designed for use as meeting places or classrooms, everything was designed for maximum efficiency to save on energy.
The bus area used for transporting students has been separated from the main entrance of the school keeping the flow of traffic moving during peak hours.
A performing arts center seating 400 people has been designed with stage lighting and a control room housing modern equipment for a genuine show experience.
Chloe Stevens, who’s a junior at the school said she was getting lost in the new school during the first week of its opening after winter break.
“I like the layout of the different halls for English, business, and science,” Stevens said.
“I also think it makes for a better learning environment.”
Mother Colleen Pruss and her daughter Madysen, who currently attends GFHS as a freshman, and sister Lydia who graduated in 2007 walked the halls of the new school in amazement as Madysen gave the tour.
Colleen who was in the first graduating class of the now former high school in 1975 said the new school seems huge by comparison to the old high school.
“This is good for the community, and I’m proud,” Colleen said.
“I’m jealous,” Lydia remarked.
“It kind of makes you want to work harder,” Madysen added.
Daughter of Gale Hogan, Granite Falls School District Superintendent 1983 1993 Cyndi Bies drove all the way from Montesano, Wash. for the dedication and said she wouldn’t have missed it for any reason.
“This is the pride of the community, and once a Tiger, always a Tiger,” she said.
The actual dedication opened with the presentation of colors from the Granite Falls Boy Scout Troop #28 followed by the National Anthem sung by the high school choir.
There were a number of speakers including the Honorable Rick Larson, U.S. House Representative who spoke of the importance and value of education.
Former Granite Falls School District Superintendent (1975 1983) Dr. Jim Maw may have put it best.
“You ought to be proud,” he said. “This is a great day for the Granite Falls community.”
During the fun part of the dedication ceremony, Principal Eric Cahan asked for the participation of the audience to see who the eldest graduating statesman would be.
As Cahan called out the decades counting backwards, the groups of standing graduates grew smaller.
A good number of people still stood as Cahan reached the 40’s and 50’s
Then the 30’s were called, and still several remained as the crowd applauded.
Who would have thought that anyone would be standing from a graduating class in the twenties?
However, a single person stood as a graduate from Granite Falls High School class of 1929 and the audience cheered for 98 year-old Harold Carlson as he stood proud of his accomplishments, and the community’s dedication for better education.