South Hill Education Centre

6010 Fraser Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V5W 2Z5

The first South Hill school opened in 1905 at 43rd and Fraser in a vacant store. Fraser Street was a major shopping area for the residents of South Vancouver so even at that time the school was surrounded by stores. In 1910, the current structure was built and in 1914 was named Sir Alexander Mackenzie School.

In 1930, when the current Mackenzie school was built at 39th Avenue and Prince Albert, the students transferred there and John Oliver High School [1912] took over the building. Between 1930 and 1961, the school was used by various high schools to accommodate excess numbers. In 1961, it reverted to an elementary school and was renamed Mackenzie Annex.

With the increase in the local population, there grew a need for a larger elementary school. In 1971, the Vancouver School Board opened a second building on Prince Albert Street. This became the Intermediate block and was made up of two 4-classroom intermediate areas, a gym, a new staff room, a student lunch room and administrative areas. The open area concept was popular at the time and the local population and school board were quite proud of the new site. A special program was held to celebrate the opening of this new building.

At this time, the primary building and new intermediate wing were renamed South Hill School.

Unfortunately, it was not to last a long time. In 1983, the building was heavily damaged by fire and only the gym and immediate rooms were left untouched. This building still remains and in fact the school name is still on the building on the Prince Albert Street side.

The local elementary school population had decreased in size and there were not enough students to warrant a new building, so in 1985 the remaining buildings were closed and students were transferred to Mackenzie Elementary.

In 1986, the site was leased to the Khalsa School and the gym was leased to Kensington Community School.

Meanwhile, around the same time there grew a need for adult education in Vancouver. The Vancouver School Board opened its first Adult Education Centre in a room in Tennyson Elementary School in 1985. Two years later it moved to "The Barn" at John Oliver High School and spread into John Oliver's music room in 1991. It became apparent that Adult Education was here to stay and the number of students was rapidly outgrowing the space available at John Oliver. In 1992, the Adult Education Centre moved into its current location at 6010 Fraser Street where we are to this day.

This article originally appeared in the South Hill Education Centre's magazine, The Signature, and is published here courtesy of the Career Centre at South Hill.