Applecros Senior High School
When the school first opened in 1958, the school had only first-year students. Its headmaster was S. G. Demasson and the art director was Ray Montgomery (also of football umpiring fame). Together they created the school’s crest. Montgomery discovered that at start of the century, a Scottish baronet called Sir Alexander Matheson had acquired approximately 1,700 acres in land within the Applecross district.
Sir Alexander’s home of his ancestors was Attadale and the region was called Ardross and there was a village that was and isnow, Applecross. Nearby , in the middle western coast of Scotland are the villages of Gairloch as well as Ullapool.
On the coat of arms , there was an “eastern crown’ that contained the hand held the scimitar. This became the principal element on the school’s emblem However, the black swan cradling the books in its mouth was symbol of the area near the river, as well as the primary purpose of the school as a place for learning. Demasson picked the motto “Achieve and be successful’, as he believed it was in line with the scimitar’s gleaming silver and what was expected from the school’s students in the future.
The Early Years
The year was 1958 when Applecross High School opened its doors in order to serve students from south from the Swan River, and so alleviate pressure to Kent Street High School and John Curtin High School. The first students were from the suburbs of the contributing suburbs: Applecross, Ardross and Mount Pleasant. Students also came from Bicton, Como, Koonawarra, Manning, Palmyra and Willagee. On the first day of school the principal of the foundation, Stanley Demasson and a team of 24 students began the school year with empty classrooms, with more than six hundred students.
The school was granted the status of Senior High School in the year 1961. Under the principal at the time, William Stallwood, and the staff of sixty-five enrollment, it grew to 1 442. The programs of study offered for Junior Certificate students were four choices which included academic, commercial and General as well as a Special High School Certificate course provided to those who did not want to take the Junior Certificate. In the year 2000 101 of the 325 students in the students from the original Junior Certificate class returned to take the course to earn the leaving Certificate.
Since its beginning, Applecross High School promoted the active participation in sport and encouraged debate, drama as well as music and dancing. The school’s choirs, orchestra, and brass band played regularly, both in local and competition. To help support their sporting activities The Parents and Citizen Association undertook and built an oval at the school that included three practice wickets as well as tennis courts, playing fields and basketball courts. They also suggested a second idea, that of a pool. This was realized on the 14th of October 1963. But, the absence of a school Hall severely hindered musical performances, drama or instrumental as well as the social activities of the school. The principal and the Parents and Citizens Association began the process of planning which led to the current Hall-Gymnasium by the end of 1969. In 1978, the school was renamed Stallwood Hall.
In 1962, fully-equipped Science rooms as well as a Home Economics Centre and later a Manual Arts Wing were added. This Science Centre was opened on 14 October 1965 by Senator Hon. John Gorton MA. The following year, with a student population of over 1600 and the staff of sixty five, Applecross became a Senior High School that offered the option of Leaving Certificate classes. It was not long before the school’s reputation for academic excellence was a foreshadowing when in 1963 the school’s only year Twelve class earned scores of 113 with a total of thirty-two Commonwealth Scholarships. In addition, Applecross Senior High School could compete on equal standards with other senior high schools, and also began its long-standing and reliable track history of inter-high school competition.
In 1968, it became evident that a bigger library was needed to provide better facilities than what the room was able to provide. On December 10, 1971, the brand new well-appointed Library was opened to school use. The year 1968 saw classes created in some Western Australian schools to cater for highly gifted students. Applecross Senior High School provided Art as a specialization as well as three classes were built specifically for this purpose. In 1975, a brand new Ceramic Art Centre expanded the school’s facilities for art.
Applecross Senior High School had its beginnings from the massive population growth throughout Western Australia during the 1950s. The school was built in 1957. the principal body of the school, referred to as the “H” block. Tennis courts and an oval with grass were constructed towards the south of block known as the ‘H. The school officially opened on the 10th of February in 1958 with a total enrollment in the 583th grade. In the year 1961, the school’s student body had grown to 1420. To to accommodate this increase in the number of students it was decided that the State Government approved successive building and extension programs for the school.
The Manual Arts building, the Canteen and the Caretaker’s Cottage were built in late 1961. The building was later followed by a swimming pool that was financed by the Parents & Citizens Association (P&C) in 1963. The Science wing was completed in 1965, and was followed by the Prevocational Centre in 1969, as well as the Gymnasium (Stallwood Hall) as well as the Library at the end of 1971. The ceramics Centre was constructed in the year 1975. It was followed by extensions to the Library as well as the Prevocational Centre and the conversion of various classrooms to new uses in the year 1981. In the end, the Art Centre was built in 1987 following the destruction of the art classrooms. The Performing Arts Centre (funded through the P&C) was completed in 1991, and the Administration Wing was finished in 1999.
The initial design for the garden, 1959, by the renowned landscape architect John Oldham, served the school well and is still evident in the huge number of grown native trees. However, many elements of the original design have been altered or removed throughout the history of the institution. The present landscape that the campus is currently under examination and will be revised to match the state-of-the-art facilities.
The year 2005 was the time that Applecross Senior High School was recognized as a heritage site by Heritage Council of Western Australia (HCWA) as one of the most representative examples of the type in Post World War II Government secondary school buildings. It was also it was scheduled to be assessed at a later time to determine whether it is worthy of inclusion on the registry of heritage places. The government’s funding for the development of the school in 2009 led HCWA to complete the assessment right away. Since then architectural firms, DoE as well as BMW have been working closely with HCWA and in November of 2010, BMW submitted an Draft Conservation Plan and Development Application to be considered.
The 2009 State Budget the Government allocated $56 million to fund the redevelopment of Applecross Senior High School. While Applecross Senior High School is managed by the Department of Education (DoE) is the sole authority for the project via Steering and Planning Committees, at the local level, the Project Consultative Group has representation by school personnel and those from the P&C. Committee meetings provide the opportunity for all parties to provide input and reports on the progress made in the building plan through the Project Manager Department of Building Management & Works (BMW).
The program for building included keeping the ‘H’ bock the Gymnasium as well as the swimming pool, as well as the Automotive Workshop. All other buildings that were in use were taken down. Construction of a brand new south-facing wing on the former tennis courts was planned to house the Administration area. It will also house the Library and Resource Centre as well as the home economics, science,, and health & Physical Education wings. A brand new Design & Technology Centre was built just to the east of the swimming pool . It also houses an entirely newly constructed Visual Arts Centre located on the former basketball courts. The Gymnasium that is currently in use was transformed to a Performing Arts Centre and the block known as the “H” was completely renovated to be used for Business/Information Technology, Careers & Vocational Education, English, Languages, Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences and Student Services.
The ‘H’ block as well as the south wing are connected on both levels via partially covered walkways, as well as lifts are located at the ends of the pedestrian’spine’. A new carpark specifically designed to accommodate staff as well as visitors’ cars, is located along the northern edge of the campus from Links Road in the west up through Ardessie Street in the east. Environmentally Sustainable Design principles guide the architect’s thinking on every educational project.
Applecross Senior High School remained completely operational during the construction program.
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