History

The first Neighbourhood Improvement Program (N.I.P.) in Canada was launched right here.  With the funds allotted the main project was the restoration of the old Alexandra School building.  The purpose of the project was to create a space to house badly needed community services and programs.  The residents of Inglewood and Ramsay, in partnership with the late Jack Long, a local architect, fought to save the building from impending demolition.

A great celebration was held in June 1976 to open the "new" facility and recognize over 1000 hours of volunteer time needed to restore the dilapidated building.  A community eyesore was transformed into and remains the first and only community facility of its kind.

The Alexandra Centre Society (ACS) was registered in December 1975, as a charitable organization, to facilitate N.I.P. redevelopment projects, and ensure that the objectives of the Inglewood Ramsay Redevelopment Committee were carried out.  The Centre was home for the Inglewood Ramsay Redevelopment Centre in the later part of the 70's.

Today the building remains under the direction of the Alexandra Centre Society as a shared community resource for the communities of Inglewood, Ramsay, Belt line Victoria, and East Village.  The Alexandra Centre Society continues to serve the local communities and remains responsive to the needs of residents in the area.

The Alexandra Centre Society, Inglewood Child Development Centre, Alexandra Writers Centre Society, Calgary Family Services, The Alexandra Medical Clinic, and the Calgary Civic Symphony call the Alexandra Centre home.

 

Building History

  • Calgary's second sandstone school was built in 1902 by William Dodd, the same architect responsible for Calgary City Hall.  The building replaced the East Ward School.
  • The school was opened in 1903 as the New East Ward School.
  • In 1907 the school was doubled in size, to eight rooms, and named for Alexandra, Queen Consort of King Edward VII.
  • in 1910, William (Bible Bill) Aberhart became principle of the Alexandra School.  He became widely known as an evangelist and created the Social Credit Party in 1935.  Aberhart was premier of Alberta from 1935 to 1943.
  • In 1913-14 the top floor of the school housed a branch high school composed of three classes from Central high School.
  • The gymnasium was built onto the front entrance in 1952.
  • The school closed in 1962 and was transferred to the City of Calgary, and boarded up.  The gymnasium continued to be rented out to various groups for bingo and music events.
  • In 1973 Inglewood and Ramsay were designated a N.I.P. area and plans to save the building from demolition and restore it began.
  • June 1976 the Alexandra Centre opened.
  • The building celebrated its centennial in 2002.

...and whats been lost...

  • A.W. McVittie's cabin, built in 1882, now located at Heritage Park, was on this site alongside the school until the 1930's.  McVittie was the original surveyor of the CPR town site of Calgary and signed plans for the city in January 1884.

 

 

 

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