West Grand School District Information
West Grand School District is a small rural school system of 520 students in grades kindergarten through twelve. We are located approximately 100 miles northwest of Denver, nestled in a quiet valley of the Rocky Mountains between Steamboat Springs and Silverthorne.
The beauty of the mountains and outdoor recreational activities abound in our community. Historically, our economy was based on ranching, logging and mining. More recently, our economy has diversified and has been strengthened by the creation of governmental agencies, tourism and service providers who have chosen Kremmling as their home. Kremmling is home to nearly 1,500 citizens who live in a close-knit and caring community. Residents enjoy a low crime rate, a full range of medical and social services, and look to the schools as their community center.
History of the School
In 1880 Walker McQueary was elected to the newly established office of Grand County Superintendent of Schools. His records show that that School District #5 Kremmling was organized in 1881 which is a year after the town of Kremmling was founded. A one-room school house was built through a willingness to pay taxes by the residents. Along with the Kremmling school, there were also rural schools on the Muddy, Troublesome, Williams Fork andChief Colorow- one of the several chiefs who contended for control of the Northern Utes Blue River areas which were all part of the Grand County School District. District 6 was formed with the Colorow School in 1889. The school, which was named after the last Ute Indian to remain in Grand County, Chief Colorow (ca. 1810-1888), was located across the Blue River on the flat opposite the Blue Valley Ranch which was then known as the Colorow Post Office. Miss Lizzie Sullivan became the county superintendent in 1896.
In 1898 Miss Mattie Walker was one of the first teachers in Kremmling with a college degree. She graduated from Mesa State College and entered her first year of teaching with a salary of $50. It was journaled that many students would have to cross country ski to school in the winter. Due to the adverse conditions in Grand County and heating problems in the schoolhouse, there was a summer term for students. Elmer R. Bacchus became the county superintendent and also taught school from 1901 to 1915. During his tenure another room was added to the school house. In 1911 Ms. Rhea Gallinger Esmoil began teaching at the Colorow school and then became superintendent in 1915.
With a new decade, the people saw a need for higher education than was being offered in the one room school houses throughout the county. In 1910 a new district, Kremmling Union High School District was organized with a new school board elected. The high school was housed in one room of the Town Hall located on the present Town Square. In 1913, Kremmling saw its first high school sports with girls’ and boys’ basketball. By 1917 the high school had grown to 20 students who were all taught by one teacher.
In 1918 a new brick school house was built. By the end of 1925 the attendance had grown and there were now 3 teachers for the high school and by 1935 there were 4 more teachers added for the grade school. First grade through twelfth grade were housed in the one schoolhouse. The building still stands today and is used for senior housing.
Grand County was then faced with the rural schools closing down and Kremmling’s population growing. The school district found a need for more room in both the high school and the grade school. In 1936 a new brick two-story high school building was built just north of the school with a gymnasium and stage. Even with the entire country experiencing the “Great Depression”, a bond for $35,000 was voted in for the construction of the new school by the 8 school districts that comprised the Kremmling Union High School District. By the late 1930’s the Mustang emblem was adopted and the colors of Purple and Gold. During that time Superintendent Robert Warren was at the helm of the school district. This building also still stands in Kremmling and is used as the other half of the Silver Spruce Senior Apartments located next to the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.
Again, Kremmling’s population kept growing and by 1953 there was a need for more classrooms. A new high school was built which was one of the nicest buildings in the northwestern part of the State and was a source of great pride for the people in the school district. The total cost for construction of the new high school was $226,000. The original schoolhouse now held grades Kindergarten through sixth grade, the old high school was turned into the Kremmling Junior High for grades seventh and eighth.
When the schools were first organized, there were at least twenty districts around the Kremmling area. New districts being formed and then dissolving time after time produced a lot of confusion in the Grand County’s school system. In 1958 it was decided to divide Grand County into two school districts, West Grand School District Number One and East Grand School District Number Two.
In 1962 the West Grand Elementary school was built in the northeastern part of Kremmling. Additions have been done to the school but it is still in operation housing approximately 215 students from Kindergarten to Fifth grade. The school district was once again faced with the need for expansion with a growing population. Today’s high school was built in 1976 with a state of the art gymnasium and auditorium and has housed as many as 190 students.
The old high school was then turned into the present day Middle School, which seats approximately 110 students in grades 6, 7 and 8.
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