Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational Institute

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Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational Institute

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        Reverend Samuel Armour opened the Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational Institute on May 1, 1826. The school, originally known as the Peterborough Government School, was first located in the back playground of present day Central Public School on Murray Street in Peterborough. As the population increased, due to immigration, the Common School (public school) students moved into smaller schools while the Grammar School (high school) students stayed in the original school building. By 1854 the school trustees had leased an old church, on the corner of Hunter and Sheridan Streets, to hold the school but the student population soon grew too large. In 1855 plans to build a new school had begun. The new building was completed in 1859 and was intended to be used by both common and grammar school students. It was located where the present day Central School is built. The new school was known as the Union School. By 1868 the principal of the school asked that girls be allowed to attend grammar school. A new building was constructed west of the Union School to allow for the increased student population. In 1871, with a government bill abolishing the term grammar school and replacing it with collegiate, the Union School became the Collegiate Institute. Due to overcrowding and various moves within the buildings it soon came time for the Collegiate to have its own building, separate from the public school. On August 1, 1907 the cornerstone for the new school was laid. The new school opened in 1908 on the corner of Aylmer and McDonnel Streets near the Armouries. In 1927 a vocational school was added to the P.C.I. Students and staff at the school helped in a variety of projects including creation and publication of the student monthly newsletter "The Collegiate Echoes" which began publication in 1905. The Collegiate has played a major role in the shaping of Peterborough through the changes that the community has sustained during the years of settlement, growth, war, poverty, industrialization and computerization. (Taken from: "Echoes Sesquicentennial Edition." 1977.)


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