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Plans Move Forward To Demolish And Develop Granite High School

Lee Hale
Garbett Homes' proposal includes 76 homes that will cover more than half of the school's 26 acres.

Despite continued community pushback, plans are moving forward to demolish Granite High School in South Salt Lake to make way for single-family homes.

The city’s planning commission approved a developer’s proposal with a unanimous vote Thursday night.


The developer, Garbett Homes, plans to use a little more than half of the schools 27 acres for the new homes.


“There’s a lot of people that want to live here," said Jacob Ballstaedt, speaking for the company. "They want to live close to town, they want to live close to an urban area. They want to buy homes that are built by a sustainable builder.”


The plans have gone through a number of revisions in response to community feedback.


Many South Salt Lake residents have spoken out against developing the land at all, hoping instead that the 110 year old high school—which has been closed since 2009—could be restored and repurposed.


“Not everyone’s happy and we understand that but we’re doing the best we can," said Ballstaedt.


The approved plans include green space that will be easily accessible from the street, in order to have a public park feel to it.


Merili Carter, representing Granite High Alumni, spoke out against the proposal. She said she was in shock following the decision but that not all hope is lost.


"The city council still could vote against this," said Carter. "Maybe the mayor could veto it.”


And if not, Carter is hoping the developers will work with her to preserve at least a portion of the historic buildings.


Garbett Homes also plans to develop the remainder of the land for commercial use but left that proposal for a future date.


Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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