Our family’s roots run deep in Cedar City. Henry Lunt, the first person named to settle Cedar City, arrived here in a snow storm on November 11, 1851. Henry was my husband’s great, great grandfather. My husband’s grandfather, Eldro Rigby, ran the college farm at then CSU for nearly two decades. Likewise, my grandfather, Max Weaver, was a professor of art at CSU. Both of our fathers graduated from Cedar High as did Travis and I. We are both financially and emotionally invested in this community.
I remember when Cedar City had just two traffic lights. I remember JC Penny, Cornet, Woolworth’s, Fernwood’s, and Christensen’s on Main Street. From my home on Second East, I could jump on my bike and ride to the Old City Library on Center Street, grab a treat at Cowley Drug and then follow it up with a burger at Arctic Circle. I remember Cedar in its simplicity.
The landscape of my hometown has changed a lot over the years. Presently, Cedar City is exploding at the seams. As I drive down 200 North, I see the tall apartment buildings rocketing into the sky. I worry. Is all this growth positive? Are we heading in the right direction? Are we preserving Cedar City’s beauty and history in the best possible way while allowing for economic prosperity? Are all areas of Cedar City benefiting from decisions made by the local governing bodies?
Don’t get me wrong, growth can be great. My husband and I own two local businesses. We have been blessed greatly by the growth. However, in my teenage years, the existing jail on North Main was built. For a youth activity, we took a tour of the facility. It scared the living day lights out of me, but I suppose that was the purpose of the activity. I am sure at the time Cedar City residents were nervous about the location.
But now here we are facing the same decision. It is unfortunate, that the location had not been chosen with a little more vision and forethought. Was a location considered that would allow for future growth? Did they realize that perhaps they might need a facility which would house more than four female inmates? I wonder had they done so, would we be looking for a new location for a jail or could expansion and renovation of the existing one be the answer? Thankfully, the building plan for the new jail does allows for growth. The architectural design of the jail is a pod structure. The first pod will accommodate 326 inmates (male and female) and the second one will be built as the need dictates. Thanks for thinking ahead! Now, I have to ask is the “auto mall” location really the best location for ALL Cedar City residents?
When settlers entered the Utah Valley in 1847, among other tasks, they planted trees. They planted trees that that they would never see grow to adulthood. Why did they do it? They did it for future generations. I don’t have the answers just a few questions. I am just a high school English teacher who teaches some of Cedar City’s finest. I want my students to be proud of a beautifully preserved historic community which promotes and enjoys economic growth, but I also want them to enjoy the shade of the trees we are planting today.