by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
As I continue to peruse the “Guide to Grain Valley” inserts from the late 1990s, I certainly see a reoccurring theme. The headlines from 25 years ago could be written today --“City expecting continued growth,” “More businesses have come in the last year,” “Police department trains to ward off crime,” Growing district changes Hackett’s duties,” and “New elementary gives district four schools.”
Well, maybe the last one is a bit dated. The last elementary, Stony Point gave Grain Valley seven schools, and most of them are still growing with new additions continuing to increase their physical size and student capacity.
But soon we will celebrate 25 years since the opening of Sni-A-Bar Elementary School. When Sni-A-Bar opened (August 1997) it housed Parents as First Teachers, kindergarten and first grade; about 225 students. At that time, the district was divided by grade levels rather than living areas to avoid conflicts over attendance boundary lines.
If you are relatively new to our city, you may not realize other ways it has changed. Twenty-five years ago we had a golf course on R.D. Mize Road, an antique mall on Main Street, and the United States Post Office still sorted mail in Grain Valley.
As we look toward 2022, you can see that a few businesses have been erased from the landscape, several businesses have come and gone, but many more are here to stay. Twenty-five years ago we had just added Sonic Drive-In and expanded the Valley Ridge Industrial Park. State Bank of Missouri was about to open a new branch on Eagles’ Parkway and OOIDA was working to complete a $3.5 million dollar building that would bring about 50 new jobs to Grain Valley.
As we consider the history of Grain Valley, certainly the business community is one indication of how we have changed. But schools, and the education of our young citizens, tell the real history of how we have grown. So as we approach 2022, I hope the school district will celebrate 25 years at Sni-A-Bar, because Yesterday is History!