The Highlands School in Edmonton has been a landmark for the city for over 100 years now. Because of this, many were willing to protect the building, and construction started to major renovations that will leave the school standing. “It is a monumental project for us,” said Lorne Parker, the assistant superintendent for the Edmonton Public School Board.
More than 60 years ago, there had been an addition made to the school. Recently, though, that addition was demolished so that new renovations could take place. The original building still stands, and students will have to change buildings while construction takes place. “That means that we will have to, halfway through the project, move the students into the new (phase) and then start on the 1912 building,” Parker said.
Many are thrilled about the prospect of Highlands School still going strong after all this time. “When you look back at the pictures of our city from 1914, you can see this beautiful school and all around it there was nothing,” said Trisha Estabrooks of the EPSB. “It was all farm land…It’s a piece of Edmonton’s history and it’s important to preserve our history.”
Talking about what the new building will look like, Estabrooks says that “It’s this beautiful open spot with cascading staircases and tons of light. I think it’s going to complement what already exists within this building and what’s on this site.”