Cy­press View School meets cen­tral­iza­tion needs in a brief ex­is­tence

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Craig Baird

As set­tlers be­gan to ar­rive in the area around the Cy­press Hills, they de­cided that they wanted to have some sort of or­ga­ni­za­tion for their var­i­ous needs. From this, the Ev­er­green Dis­trict was cre­ated. The name for the dis­trict is sim­ply enough to come by con­sid­er­ing that there are many trees in the area that form an ev­er­green look through­out the year.

One of the first things to be done in the area was the open­ing of a school that would have the same name. One of the schools in the area was Cy­press View School. More and more dis­tricts were mov­ing away from the one-room ru­ral schools to a larger con­sol­i­da­tion unit. The Medicine Hat School Di­vi­sion sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to the ratepay­ers at the Robin­son, New­burg, Sen­tinel and Ev­er­green schools to lo­cate a good site for a two-room school. This new school would serve all grades be­tween one and eight. Un­for­tu­nately, par­ents were quite op­posed to the new school.

The di­vi­sion trustees stuck to their guns though and in 1954, they ap­plied to C.G. Jewes, man­ager for the school build­ing branch of the gov­ern­ment in Ed­mon­ton. The school would be in the New­burg Dis­trict as it was the most cen­tral of the dis­tricts. Fi­nanc­ing would be through a deben­ture is­sue. On July 17, 1954, an ap­pli­ca­tion was made to the di­rec­tor of school ad­min­is­tra­tion, J.F. Swan, to lo­cate the school on a four-acre site in the dis­trict. Within a few days, on July 23, the ap­pli­ca­tion was ap­proved, and the land was pur­chased from Ben Lehr at a cost of $60 per acre. The school build­ing it­self would cost about $36,000, and a grant through the School Build­ing As­sis­tance Act would cover $8,000 of that.

The new school was com­pleted by De­cem­ber, 1954 and of­fi­cially opened on Dec. 7. Since the school served chil­dren from the en­tire area, it did not make sense to call it the New­burg School. In­stead, on Feb. 22, 1955, an ap­pli­ca­tion was sent to A.O. Aal­borg, the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, to change the name to Cy­press View School. Ap­proval was given for this within three days. Al­bert Hoff would be hired as the first school bus op­er­a­tor and care­taker for the school. Alex Predy served as the first prin­ci­pal from 1954 to 1958, and Marie Bis­chke was the first teacher. The school would go through many up­grades over the course of the 1950s in­clud­ing get­ting elec­tri­cal power at a cost of $1,285.

Un­for­tu­nately, 10 years af­ter open­ing the Medicine Hat School Di­vi­sion de­cided that it was more eco­nom­i­cal and ben­e­fi­cial to stu­dents to trans­port them to the Irvine School since it catered all the way to Grade 12. A pro­posal was put for­ward to close Cy­press View School and in June, 1964 that clo­sure was ap­proved. In 1967, the school was moved to Irvine to pro­vide fur­ther space there, of­fi­cially end­ing the brief life of Cy­press View School.

Sug­ges­tions for col­umns or ques­tions? E-mail Craig at cr­w­[email protected] Lis­ten to his pod­cast by search­ing for “Canadian His­tory Ehx” on your pod­cast plat­form. Find his show on YouTube by search­ing for “Canadian His­tory Ehx”.

In­for­ma­tion for this col­umn comes from Prairie Wool: A His­tory of Cli­max and the Sur­round­ing School Dis­tricts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.