116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the 1910s, Cedar Rapids school officials were worried about how many young people were leaving school to take jobs and apprenticeships.
To combat that exit, the district opened Grant Vocational High School in 1915 to provide education in the trades student wanted to pursue.
The $130,000 school opened at 346 Second Ave. SW with $15,000 in equipment.
It offered classes in metallurgy, woodwork, mechanics, mechanical drawing, cooking, sewing, home laundry, millinery, shorthand, commercial arts, engineering math and English.
Night classes were offered in mechanical drawing, woodwork, gas engine work and shorthand.
Initially, enrollment was high but then dwindled, with some complaining about the declining quality of the education.
The school closed near the end of 1923 and then operated as a traditional high school between 1924 and 1935. The building still stands, with the entrance marked as Grant Vocational High School.
Tara Templeman is curator at The History Center. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org