Ferry Road Centre/Cornwall Junior High School
A second Cornwall school was built in 1963. The population of Cornwall was growing and the one-room school house was no longer large enough to accommodate the number of students attending the school. When the second school was opened during the winter of 1963/64 it housed grades one to ten.1 From this point forward some of the information about the school is only speculation as records could not be located. Much of the information was pieced together from oral history interviews.
The new Cornwall school was used for ten years until Eliot River Elementary School was opened in 1973. By this time, Cornwall was growing rapidly and would continue to grow in the years to come. Students from grades one to six attended the new Eliot River while their former school was transformed into a junior high school. The new junior high school housed grades seven to nine. Students had to complete their education at one of the high schools in Charlottetown until Bluefield High School was built in 1978. Windsor Wight, the current principal at East Wiltshire Junior High School, attended the Cornwall Junior High School. In honor of the former junior high school, he has mounted photos of the graduating classes on the wall across from the gymnasium at East Wiltshire Junior High School. It serves as a fond reminder of the former junior high school in Cornwall.
Less than ten years later East Wiltshire Junior High School was built. It was formally opened in January of 1981. The Regional Administrative School Unit 3Annual Report 1980-81 reported the following: “After a short delay, East Wiltshire School was opened. The total facility was not available to staff and students until January, 1981. The former Cornwall Junior High Building was renovated to provide a primary school for grade one students of Eliot River. This partially alleviated the overcrowding situation in Eliot River.”2 The Cornwall Junior High School had then been transformed again, this time to a primary school. Even with the four extra portable classrooms at Eliot River, another space was needed for the lower grades. Grades one and two continued to hold classes in the former junior high school. At one point, apparently only a few years before the opening of Westwood Primary School, it was decided that the grade one and two French Immersion classes would be housed at Eliot River as opposed to the former junior high school.
Finally, as a result from a continuously growing community, Westwood Primary School was built and opened to grades one to three in 1991. As new schools were built to accommodate the growing number of school aged children in the community, the former junior high school was no longer needed. In 1993 the building was sold to the Village of Cornwall. Since that time the building has seen many uses including a boxing club and youth centre. Over the years the building was also used to house the Cornwall Library, the Cornwall CAP site, and proved to be an excellent facility for educational and summer programs. The Town has recently rented the building to CHANCES day-care facility.
Memories of the Cornwall Junior High School
Originally from Pownal, Gordon Hermann has lived in Cornwall for several decades. Gordon was a teacher and taught for a short time at the Cornwall school before retiring from Eliot River Elementary School in 1999. He taught grades six to ten at the Cornwall school. He remembers building an outdoor skating rink with a few other parents behind the school. The children had a wonderful time on the rink and it used it on their lunch breaks and in the evening.
“I lived across the road at the time at 19 Ferry Road in the apartments. We had certain skating times and certain hockey times and I’d be over there and it was supposed to be a skating time and I’d hear bang, bang, bang. Pucks banging. That was a big problem, keeping the hockey players off of it and letting the kids skate. It was good for a few years.”
They kept it going for a few years until the school transformed into a junior high school and the teenagers decided to vandalize it.3
Newspaper Clipping Courtesy of Norma Hermann