Jordan High - Then and Now
A Glance at Some History Highlights
Jordan High School has seen changes and tremendous growth over the years. In 1907 Jordan High took root when a student body comprised of just seven students began meeting in the basement of a church in Midvale. The enrollment numbers quickly grew, and soon it was necessary to move the students and faculty into their first real school building. This original school was originally known as The People's College because it was open to students of all ages. Later it was to become Jordan High School. This school, located at 8800 South 250 East in Sandy, served students from 1911 until 1914.
In those days school was significantly different than it is today. Teachers made house calls to meet and get acquainted with their new students. School lunch was available for 2 or 3 cents per dish. Students often rode their own horses to school where they were stabled in a barn on the property. By the 1920's the district had a fleet of school buses and is believed to be the first in the nation to provide bus service.
In 1913 construction began on a new Jordan High School at 9351 South State Street. Serving from 1914 to 1996, the building was on the National Register of Historic Places.
The student population in the Jordan School District continued to increase, and Jordan High was required to serve more than the building was originally designed to hold. In the mid 1970's it became apparent that the Jordan site was too small for a modern high school. Also, the building was beginning to show signs of age. Electrical and mechanical systems had problems, and concern surfaces over the likelihood of the building withstanding an earthquake. The student parking lot, which was located south of the school across a busy street, became another safety issue.
In 1975 the Jordan Board of Education decided to build a new high school in southeast Sandy and considered closing the Jordan High building. The architect's drawings labeled the new school "new Jordan High." However, the exploding student population made it impossible to eliminate a school at that time, so the proposed new school became Alta, and Jordan continued at the same location. Some minor improvements were made to the Jordan building, a number of portable classrooms were added to provide space for additional students, and the school continued to serve. Nevertheless, after another few years, problems with the building seemed to escalate.
In the early 1990's a decision was made to relocate Jordan High to a site large enough to house all of the facilities necessary for a modern high school and to construct a building which would meet the current and future requirements for a quality high school education.
Ultimately a site at 9800 South was selected for the new school. The site was beautiful be came with problems. It was necessary to close a street at 9800 South from the railroad tracks to State Street. In addition, several homes had to be razed and a number of businesses relocated. A major sewer line was moved, and the East Jordan Canal was covered for the entire length of the school property, but in the end it was worth all the effort.
With the move to the new building, students were given the choice of changing traditional colors of maroon and grey, the mascot, Beetdiggers and the school logo. They overwhelmingly voted to keep them all and carry on as usual in the new school.
The new Jordan High opened its doors for public tours from February 22 to 29 1996. Response to the new building was positive, with many declaring it "beautiful" and "impressive." The new building can serve 2,600 students and currently has on of the largest high school student bodies in the state. It is considered of the finest facilities in the nation.