Granby voted in 1918 to build a tworoom school, and sold the old school at auction to Leslie Korper. The new building cost $5,000 and was of “harmonious design” to the other buildings in the new community center. It was planned to conform to modern principles of education and designed for future expansion, if and when the Granby schools were ever consolidated.
The Bushy Hill School was closed and the pupils bused to the Center. Enthusiastic students gave concerts and operettas to raise money to install electricity in their school and buy a Victrola.
By 1925, the school was overcrowded and the 7th and 8th graders were bused to the North Granby School (now the Legion Hall). Additions were made to both Center School rooms in 1930.
The 1948 Granby Consolidated School
In 1945 Granby applied for aid to build a consolidated school. The town was already busing 270 children to seven small schools, with eight grades in one room. Most of the schools lacked plumbing and playgrounds. The cost of operating seven separate schools had increased from $2,350 in 1893 to $50,000 in 1945.
The citizens approved the plan to build a new school and voted $7,000 to buy land. In 1947, 14 acres were purchased on Rt. 10-202 and later Mildred Colton Allison and Carolyn Colton Avery donated three more acres to the school property. The consolidated school was constructed at a cost of $200,000 and opened in 1948. It consisted of the present center of the building and the south wing. For the first time since 1790, all of Granby’s elementary school students were gathered under the same roof.
What happened to the center schools?
The first known school in the First District was sold to Gift W. Adams for $41 in 1821. It was probably moved to its present location at 200 Salmon Brook Street in 1823.
The school was converted to a house and sold to Allen Pettibone who married Amorette Smith on January 2, 1823. Both of them had been students in the old school.
Allen was the son of Captain Ozias and Elizabeth (Pease) Pettibone, and Amorette was the daughter of Elijah and Anne (Phelps) Smith. They raised ten children in their tiny house. Allen worked as a maker of eave spouts. Amorette died in 1864 and Allen married three more times before his death in 1895 at the age of 93.
There have been several additions to the old school and it is still being occupied as a private home.
The 1823 school, also called The Academy on old maps, was sold in 1859 to the highest bidder for $63. The buyer was not named, but it must have been Dr. Jairus Case, who moved the two story building to a site farther north. Case used it as a tenant house for his farm workers.
The house at 281 Salmon Brook Street now has two apartments. It has been remodeled through the years and is well taken care of.
The 1859 school was sold to Leslie Korper in 1919 and taken down. He kept the school bell and took it with him when he moved out of Granby. His widow returned the bell in 1961, and it is now on display at the Salmon Brook Historical Society in the cloakroom of the Cooley School. Previous researchers have assumed that the bell was purchased in 1861 but as written about earlier, it may be the original bell from the 1823 school.
The 1919 Center School was used as the Granby Town Hall from 1951 to 1964, when the present town hall was built. Valley Pre-School, a private kindergarten rented the building until 1968, when a public kindergarten was offered in Granby. The Old Town Hall Kindergarten was in use through June 1992. With the expansion of Kearns School, the kindergarten was moved there. In 1995, the old school building was rented to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and they used it for several years. Finally, it was sold to South Congregational Church in 2009.
The 1948 Granby Consolidated Elementary School had the north wing added in 1950 and the school was renamed Granby Memorial School. Increased population required the building of Wells Road and Kearns Elementary Schools in the fifties. The center school became Granby Memorial High School and the first senior class graduated in 1958.
More buildings were constructed on the high school site and the old high school became the Granby Memorial Middle School in 1971. With the building of the new middle school in 1992, and after extensive renovation and additions to the old building, the old middle school became the new Granby Memorial High School in 2000.
Out of the five First District school buildings in the center, four are still in use. The conservative citizens of Granby even recycle their buildings.