Granville Then & Now – Granville was busy with Christmas events

The start of December had a variety of weather. November concluded with a somewhat warm day, with temperatures in the 40s, and lots of rain. On Dec. 1, it was cooler, in the low 30s, with snow flurries but no accumulation. By early last week, it was warmer again, and on Wednesday, Dec. 7, the area once again had a heat wave, with temperatures in the low 60s. By this past weekend, it was cooler again with highs in the 30s. Hopefully the weather will cooperate in the next couple of weeks to allow for weather typical of the season, that will give the area an appearance more in line with the Christmas holiday season.

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Granville was a busy place the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 2, as two major Christmas holiday events were held; the Festival of Trees and the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The Slate Valley Museum held its Festival of Trees. This was the first festival since 2019; the event started in 2012. Many trees were exhibited by locals and area businesses and organizations, each having its own unique theme.

Granville’s tree lighting ceremony also occurred that afternoon. It is sponsored by the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce. The parade started about 5:45 p.m. at the Great Meadow Federal Credit Union on East Main Street. The paraders went down Main Street and West Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park. The actual ceremony at the park followed. Rick Roberts spoke briefly and led a countdown to the lights. At the end, speakers started playing the Andy Williams recording of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and the light show commenced; the time was 6:15 p.m. There were a few different features following the ceremony, including visits with Santa, horse carriage rides, vendors, and a petting zoo.

The Pember Library and Museum also held an event concurrent to the other two events. Hot chocolate was available, as were arts and crafts for the children. The Pember Museum’s naturalist was also present to discuss happenings with the museum.

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Granville has another new business. Twisted Scissors, a hair salon, opened Nov. 16 at 61 Church St. It is owned by Cindy Loucks, who has worked at area hair salons for several years. The building was formerly the location of the Full Treatment Hair Salon, which closed within the past few years. Best of luck to Twisted Scissors, and may the business be successful.

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The construction efforts to turn the former Manchester Wood factory on County Route 24 into an Amazon distribution center are now underway. The project began to take off the week of Nov. 18. At that time, a trailer was brought in for those supervising the project, and a portable fence was placed along the property near County Route 24. The Manchester Wood sign was removed. The factory had been closed for four years, since August 2018. In the meantime, the factory building had remained vacant and the signs were still up until construction commenced. The building has now been gutted and old additions removed. The firms contracted for the construction work are Rozell Construction and the Walsh company. The opening of the distribution center is anticipated for next summer.

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Over this summer, the Granville Central School District has worked on renovations in sections of the Granville High School, mostly in the original section, now the junior high wing. This work was preceded by the overhaul of the high school cafeteria in the summer of 2021. The look goes more for a college “cafe” style and is similar to changes made over at the Queensbury high school cafeteria several years ago.

This year’s renovation was primarily focused on the junior high wing. The floors were refurbished, going right down to the original wooden floors, checking and repairing them, then putting in new floors. The original cabinets and slate chalkboards, which dated from 1929, were gutted and the walls made level for new whiteboards and electronic interactive displays. New cabinetry was also installed. The former agricultural room, which was originally the study hall and connected to the original library until the early 1970s, and more recently was a technology and shop room with a computer lab, has been transformed into a multi-purpose room, with tables and stepped platforms. The ag room moved to the senior high wing near the new gym, with a greenhouse added.

Getting out of the classrooms, the main hallways on both floors have been renovated with new ceilings and flooring. The north-south hallways now have new lockers, and several benches. The walls have been painted blue, and the floor tiles are now gray, separated into sections by rows of blue tiles. The junior high guidance office has been overhauled, and is now about twice as large as before, with room for both offices, as well as room in the main area. The bathrooms have also been renovated.

Out of the junior high wing, the most significant renovation took place in the library. Previously, there were rooms off to the right side upon entry, with a central area of chairs, bookshelves and aisles to the left, a library media center with computers in the back straight ahead, and another group of tables in back near the other door. The library has been overhauled. An expanded librarian’s office and desk now occupies much of the space of the old first room to the right. The second and third rooms have also become part of the main library space. The former site of tables is now home to a cushioned double-sided bench. The old aisle space now has tables, with books on shelving around that space. The former library media center side is now a conference room, and the former site of tables nearby is now more book space.

The senior high gymnasium was lightly renovated, with a new coat of paint. An interesting addition is a band of blue with a gold stripe, painted several feet high around the entire gym. Lettering has been placed on the cushioned wall at each end of the basketball court, one end has “Granville” and the other has “Golden Horde.”

The renovated areas of the high school now have a stylish “new look” that is a marked improvement in look and function from their predecessors. Congratulations to the Granville Central School District on finishing of this renovation work.