A shot of the school back when it was Ponoka’s high school. Image: WCPS

Current home of Brick Learning Centre to celebrate Sept. 27

Ponoka educational building hits 90 years

A building that has been a tremendously big part of Ponoka and educating its kids is turning 90.

What will always be known to residents as “the brick building,” which is now home to Wolf Creek Public Schools’ (WCPS’) alternative educational BRICK Learning Centre will be celebrating the milestone with a public open house on Sept. 27.

The school will be open from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. that day with everyone encouraged to come for a tour, visit the classrooms and reminisce about their times in the grand old building.

“The community has been a big part of what we do and the community is what made this building last,” said BRICK Learning Centre principal Ian Tisdale.

“So, it’s really important for the school with such a long history to engage the community and have them walk through and tell their stories and experiences.

“It not only helps us, but the students to learn and build that historical reference of the facility. Going forward, the students and staff can see what they will forever be a part of and the stories behind it.”

Nine decades is a long time to look back on, especially considering the number of students and staff that have graced the halls of the “BRICK” school since it was opened in 1929.

The idea to hold the anniversary came after a WCPS staff member, Dawn Bleskie, found a commemorative plate marking the year the school opened.

“She brought us the plate, after just coming across it at a store in town, and it showed the year the school opened. The idea to celebrate the 90th anniversary started to develop from there,” said Tisdale.

“We will have a small program with dignitaries, but it is mostly just a casual event. It’s as much about people walking around and having interesting conversations about the past and history of the building.”

While the building was deemed to “exceed Ponoka’s needs” when it was built, the history of the town noted it didn’t take long for rural students and baby boomers to fill it up quickly.

After the town experienced more growth, the BRICK school grew with it until other schools were eventually necessary.

Today, BRICK — which stands for Building, Relationship, Independence, Community, Knowledge — houses Ponoka’s high school alternative education and has a name that honours its history.

“We wanted to recognize that history when rebranding and listened carefully to the community as part of that process,” he said.

“It’s that connection we hope this celebration will also embrace and bring back memories for so many people.”

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This photo shows a time when the school was used as an elementary school in Ponoka. Image: WCPS

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