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Frontier Diary

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyThe Garfield County High School building in early 1915. The school officially opened to 117 high school students on Jan. 18, 1915. The school was replaced in 1953 with the school that still serves as today's Glenwood Springs High School.
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Overcrowding threatened Glenwood Springs’ educational system. The public school building at Eleventh Street and Blake Avenue housed grades one through twelve, and, when constructed in 1887, adequately served the community’s educational needs. However, a growing student population stressed the facility. It was time to consider expansion.

On May 6, 1910, the county’s fourteen school districts, including the Glenwood Springs High School, merged into the Garfield County High School District. Under this plan, the county’s high school students would attend school in Glenwood Springs within a building dedicated solely for high school education.

A bond issue funding the new building was passed on May 4, 1913. Then, a search for a building site south of the Glenwood Springs city limits was begun.

Owners of suitable properties were offered $500 per acre for their land. When no response from the owners was received, condemnation was discussed. However, on Nov. 6, 1913, Charles Darrow sold to the district seven acres of property originally used as the local horse racing track. This finalized the site for the new school.

Denver architects Willison and Follis, in conjunction with local architect Theodore Rosenberg, designed the high school building. Contractors Stewart and Murphy broke ground for the structure (located at about 1405 Grand Ave.) in the spring of 1914.

A ceremony containing songs, speeches, and a motion picture taping opened the Garfield County High School on Jan. 18, 1915. Built at a cost of $46,000, the 26-room school was the largest in northwestern Colorado.

Decades later, the Garfield County High School building fell into disrepair, forcing condemnation. The structure was replaced in 1953 with the building that continues to serve today as Glenwood Springs High School.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.


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