SWMS

History of Alexander Park Elementary

Alexander Park Elementary School has been in existence since 1962. At that time, a three classroom school was built to accommodate students from grades one to five. In 1966, grade six was added to the school with grade seven following two years later. The kindergarten program was implemented in 1974.

Where did our school name come from? In the late 1890ís, Golden was a small town which was attracting a number of prospectors due to the quartz found in the hills around Golden. The discovery of quartz suggested gold and silver might also be found.

To support the growth of the town, it was proposed that a smelter be built. A gentleman by the name of Alexander said that he would build the smelter if he were given 100 acres of land for the development. This land, roughly from our school to the mouth of the Kicking Horse gorge, was commonly known as Alexanderís. Hobos traveling across Canada would frequent this area.

When the smelter failed (due to the lack of precious metals) Thomas King; MLA for the district, proposed that the land become a park. The title was registered as Alexander Park, and a racetrack was built.

Fairly recent events have changed our school as well. We have had renovations to different parts of the school in 1983, 1999 and 2000 and a fire in one of the classrooms in 1998 resulted in damage to and renovations of the North end of our school.

The French Immersion program was started in our school in 1998 with Grades 4-7 receiving instruction in French. Our English program remained with Kindergarten to Grade 7 students. In 2002, due to declining enrolment, two schools in and around Golden were closed and Alexander Park became a dual track primary school. We were very happy to welcome Kindergarten to Grade 3 students from Edelweiss and Lady Grey to our school.

The park is still on the original site. When our school was built next to the park, it was natural to call it Alexander Park Elementary School. The initials A.P.E.S. have become the basis for our logo and our mascot is an ape!

In the fall of 2007, a StrongStart Centre and Little Chimps Preschool opened at Alexander Park. The StrongStart Early Learning Centre is a free drop in program for children birth to 5 with their parent or caregiver. Parents with their preschoolers are invited to drop in as much as they like and as their schedule allows. Little Chimps Preschool has two classes and is open to three and four year olds. For more information about either program, please contact the school.