The History of Port Colborne High School dates back to 1920 when the town of Port Colborne became a focal point of many new industries. The arrival of I.N.C.O. in 1918, the prospering businesses of Canada Furnace, Maple Leaf Mills and Canada Cement along with the building of the forth Welland canal brought many new residents and their families to the town. A need for an educational institution was realized. In 1920 the Port Colborne School Board purchased four acres of land from Dewitt Carter on the corner of Steele and Elgin Streets. Building started in 1920 and in 1921 the Port Colborne Continuation School opened its doors for the first time with four classrooms a science lab and a gymnasium (currently the theatre). This school offered students in Port Colborne grades 9-11. If a student wanted to further their education after grade 11 they needed to travel to Welland, via trolley, to complete their fourth and fifth terms (Grade12 and 13).
In 1922 an application was made to the Ontario Government for High School status which was granted in 1923. The first graduates of Port High received their diplomas on December 20, 1923. At this time the school board consisted of 6 members while there were only 5 teachers employed at Port High teaching 100 students!
In 1926, the first of many additions were built to accommodate the growing student population by adding four classrooms to the back of the existing building. Since that time there have been four other major renovations. 1938, 6 classes, a gym, a shop class and a home economics class room was added. 1960's another gym, science classes and a technical wing was built. 1989 saw the improvement of the library and main office area, as well as many stairwells closed to make the building more energy efficient. With the latest addition being the new entranceway and foyer built in 2008.
During the late 60's, the school housed over 1600 students with 90 teachers. The school was bursting at the seams and a new school for Port Colborne was needed. A shift system was put into place with Port High students attending school in the morning and future Lockview Park students attending in the afternoon. In February of 1970 the new school located on Janet Street opened its doors to over 600 students. Many of these students would return to PCHS for grade 13 as Lockview was a 9-12 school only. With the baby boom over and the beginning of declining employment opportunities in Port Colborne, Lockview Park closed in 1986 with the students and staff returning to Port High.
If you would like to read more on the history of the school visit the school library where you can read the schools yearbook, the Tattler dating back to 1921 as well as the book developed for the 75th anniversary in 1998.
Did you know:
- That there were 350 Port High students in WWII?
- Did you know that there was a firing range in the basement and that there used to be over 400 rifles stored for student use?
- Former Toronto Maple Leaf Captain and Hockey Hall of Fame Member, Ted "Teeder" Kennedy attended Port High. He is the ONLY leaf to ever win the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the League
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"To the stars through hard work"