Recently I had an email from a former student who attended West Hope School right up until it closed in 1960. She had seen my posting about West Hope School and she let me know that the school is at a critical junction in its history and was likely going to be put up for sale for development into an acreage. We all know that “development” and “historical preservation” are often mutually exclusive terms.
She ended her email with this statement: “At the heart of this is whether subsequent generations have the interest and committment [sic] to safeguard it’s future. Sadly this seems doubtful…”
Always one for a healthy internet debate, I would love to prove her wrong, but I know I can’t. It’s not just the subsequent generations, it is the current people in power and the people with money who don’t have the interest and drive to preserve history. Too many are content to let it slip away and focus on the prospect of some quick money.
There has been discussion on some local Facebook groups talking about the property being for sale. Sadly, it appears the end is near for West Hope and another one of Alberta’s historic one-room school houses is destined for the scrap heap.
On my original post from 2017, I posted a few pictures of the school I took back in 2007. At that time the school was open and accessible, whereas now it is posted as No Trespassing. So, for those who will likely never get to see it in person, especially the inside, here are all of my photos from November 17, 2007.
(Don’t judge me for the quality, I’m posting them all regardless of how poorly composed they are! That said, my old Canon S3IS was a great little point-n-shoot camera back in the day.)
O, how wish I could buy it and restore it.
Me too. This gem deserves a better fate. It needs to be open and accessible to the public, not demolished. Yes, it has been 15 years since I saw the inside, but it was in great shape.
Unless someone has a spare $165,000 and it interested in a historical building, this property is too small to keep both the school and to build something nearby. I visited it last week (May 6, 2021) and it appears in the same general state it’s been in for years. The Remax sign was on the fence; however, it appears the property may already be sold as it’s no longer posted(?) -Marshall