Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The History of Education in Beiseker, Part II

While the rural school districts were gearing up and flourishing around Beiseker, students who lived in the village had no school to attend.

Village students had to attend the Odessa School District school, located about 4 km. northeast of Beiseker.  In 1913 there were too many kids for Odessa to handle so a school district was set up in Beiseker. The first schoolroom was set up in part of F. A. Lount's farm machinery dealership warehouse.  A year later the schoolhouse was built.

That school provided the same rudimentary education as did the rural one-room schools.  In 1918, Odessa School District and Beiseker School District joined to form the Beiseker Consolidated School District #55 and the new Beiseker Consolidated School was constructed on a site now occupied by St. Mary's Catholic Church.  That district operated until 1950. 

In 1951, the new school building under the control of Calgary Rural School Division #41 was finished on its present site across Second Ave. from the Consolidated School.  The Consolidated School was demolished and construction of St. Mary's began in 1955.

The present building has served this community well ever since.  There have been many additions and renovations to the building starting with the Gymnasium, then the south east wing which has been added to at least twice.  Then came the East Wing beyond the Gym.  Meanwhile the basement of the original school building was renovated to serve as classrooms.

In 1967, a huge community and school project was undertaken to create the Centennial Mall, in front of the school.  The project director was then-Principal William Hansell.

Six hundred bags of cement, a mountain  of sand and gravel, and plenty of muscle power went into building the Centennial Mall!  The Mall featured a circular raised flower garden, and park benches.  It also had a large Canadian Centennial Symbol embedded in concrete.

We were told that every effort would be taken to preserve the Centennial Mall during renovations, but I see no evidence of it today.

Beiseker had a number of teacherages for staff members to live in while working here.  The first were actually teacherages brought in from the now-defunct rural school districts.

At least one was placed on the school grounds while three were placed along Fifth Ave., across from the fire hall.  The teacherage in the school yard was eventually sold, moved and renovated.  It is now a private residence on Ninth Street.

The second round of teacher homes were built in the late 1950s & early 1960s. Two were constructed on Fifth Street and two more were built on Seventh Street.  All have been sold by the school division to become private residences.


  1. There still is a plauqe in cement on the ground near the Canadian flag. Harder to see...

  2. Thanks Anon! I'll have to look for it. I think it's a shame that the Centennial Logo is gone. Those students who built that were very proud of it.