Granite High School sits, unvisited, unwanted and with an indescribable sense of emptiness. The children have moved on, one by one, and all that is left behind is a sign which reads, “for sale.”
A once-glassy stare is slowly boarded up as grey, stone faces are overtaken by the green. What is overgrown has mixed with the dead and the dying.
The funeral was seven years ago. Since then, someone is always watching, but no one is visiting.
Granite High School is an eerie place. Signs warn of asbestos and surveillance. Locks and chains keep would-be trespassers from tennis courts and dying fields. The cameras punctuate the message sent by the stillness and the boarded windows: keep away.
It saw the vote for permanent closure in 2009, and while it has also seen a number of potential saviors, there looks to be no rescue in sight. From recreation to housing, a film studio to a Walmart, every potential buyer or solution seems to have fallen through.
One might think a visit to a school which is permanently closed would feel no different than visiting one closed during the weekend: quiet, still, no one in sight. In reality, it is the difference between seeing the sleeping and seeing the dead.
Walking around the campus, I couldn’t help but feel the ghost of what was lost in the school’s closing. The novelty of seeing a high school with a “for sale” sign in front had fallen away. It was replaced with the kind of cold, empty sensation that almost compels you to mourn.
The loss of a school is something which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Granite High School’s future is uncertain and shaky, and it seems likely its doors may never open again. In the end it will most likely be knocked down and replaced.