Alumni hope to get Granite High School campus on National Register of Historic Places

Posted at 9:59 PM, May 05, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY -- Granite High School is down to its final couple of months before it is demolished later this summer.

It appears it's too late to save the buildings, but one local group of alumni are still hoping they can preserve its memory.

Dora Lyn Goins can't believe it's been 52 years since she walked the halls of the old Granite High School.

"This school meant so much," said Goins, who graduated in 1965.

She remembers the exact window she looked out while daydreaming in English class.

"There was a teacher named Mr. Evans, he threatened us back in '65 if we didn't go to college then he would come and haunt us," Goins said.

However, her greatest memory came on the bleachers of the football field.

"Oh, I fell in love with Ralph Young, he was my first boyfriend," Goins said.

It's moments like these that have caused a movement among generations of Granite High School teachers and alumni. The goal is to get the entire campus, which dates back to 1890, recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Why would anybody object to recognizing its place in history? That would at least help people feel a little bit better about letting go," said Kristine Dobson, a former teacher.

In April, the group's application was approved by the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.

"Architecturally some of the buildings are significant, historically they are significant for the education," said Roger Roper, of the Utah State Historic Preservation Office.

Now it's on to Washington D.C. where the National Park Service will make the final decision. However, no matter what, it won't be enough to stop the developer, Wasatch Properties, from tearing down the school and replacing it with homes and businesses.

"It will not protect it from being demolished because the National Register is just about recognizing the history, and it's a tool for encouraging preservation but there are no strings attached," Roper said.

There are some people who are still holding out hope that they can save the school. If it ends up on the National Register, that would create about $4.5 million in tax credits for restoration. It would be up to the developer if they would want to go in that direction.