For fifteen years following the completion of Matthews Elementary School in 1978 the population of Grain Valley remained virtually unchanged. In fact, between 1970 (709) and 1990 (1898) the population increased by only 1189 residents or just under 60 people per year.
With the development of Sni-A-Bar Farms and the housing boom of the 1990s the population grew to 5,160 by 2000; an increase of 3,262 residents. The number of school age children increased proportionally.
In 1997 votes approved a bond to build Sni-A-Bar Elementary School, so named for its location on land which was once a part of Sni-A-Bar Farms, circa 1913. Phase I was completed in August 1997, and the kindergarten and first-grade classes were moved from Matthews Elementary. Phase II was completed in 1998 and the second-grade classes were also moved to Sni-A-Bar Elementary.
In early 2000, new subdivisions were developing on the north side of I-70. In 2005 Prairie Branch Elementary was completed on NW Dillingham Road. With some new boundary lines established, each of three elementary schools were now ready to house students K-5, and the upper elementary students 6-8 attended South Middle School. In 2008 an additional 4 classrooms were added to Prairie Branch Middle School. If you are reading this article and you know how Prairie Branch was named, I would be curious to know.
Between 2000 and 2010 the population of Grain Valley increased nearly 250% (From 5,160 to 12,854 people.) Time to build another elementary school. In 2007, voters approved a bond to build Stony Point Elementary School, named for the original Stony Point School built more than 150 years earlier on land about a mile away from the present school on Ryan Road. The final phase of Stony Point was completed in 2009.
Next Week: Learn about the Middle Schools
The Grain Valley Historical Society Museum is located at 510 Main Street.
Visit the Historical Society’s website, www.grainvalleyhistory.com, and follow the Society on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@grainvalleyhistory).
Photo credit: Marcia Napier