Elaine Weeks with Erika Muscat,
photos Elaine Weeks
legend is over, but the memo-ries will live on. W.D. Lowe Sec-ondary
School (originally Walkerville Technical School), located on Giles
Boulevard at Parent, closed in June after 78 years of providing
area students with a solid foundation in both trades and academics.
had such a province-wide reputation for excellence, a Lowe grad
had an edge over any other school graduate applying for a job in
the trades in Ontario.
academic performance was also phenomenal. When Lowe's first Grade
13 class wrote the Ontario Departmentals in 1966, it received the
highest average of all secondary schools in Windsor.
school had 25 shops, including three for cars. Sports wise, the
school produced many champions. John Murray was one particular star
coach of the 1940's and 1950's who led the students to a host of
championships in basketball and football.
most of its early years an all-male school, Lowe went co-ed in 1974
when students from nearby Patterson High were transferred there
prior to its demolition. In later years, the school's student body
included many new immigrants to the City of Windsor.
the 1960's, enrollment was over 1600 students, but by the end of
the 1990's, it had dwindled considerably and it looked like the
school's days were numbered.
was granted a one-year reprieve from closing in 1999 thanks to the
tireless efforts of motivated student leaders and much of the school
population, who campaigned successfully to keep the school open.
By the year 2000, the writing was on the black board however, and
despite renewed efforts by students and parents to save the school,
the battle was lost.
emotional closing ceremony, held on June 10th of this year, saw
about 700 people assembled on the front lawn of the school to listen
to former and current students and staff, bid their farewells. Sue
Zanin, Superintendent of the Windsor-Essex County Board of Education,
remarked that despite the sad occasion, the ceremony was "a celebration
of Trojan spirit and Trojan pride."
Battagello, former star athlete and Lowe principal from 1975 to
1993, spoke of his earliest memory of the school. "I have a close,
earthly connection to Lowe," said Battagello with a smile. "I remember
as a child my mother dragging me kicking and screaming to Lowe to
pick dandelion leaves from the front lawn to have for dinner that
a more serious note, he opined on the closing of the school. "Everywhere
in the world except in Ontario, students, after completing Grade
Six, move on to the secondary level. If this were true here, I think
this would have left Lowe open."
to a spokesperson from the school board, Lowe will continue to serve
as an Adult Education Centre until November of this year. The Windsor
and Essex County Board of Education have no intention of demolishing
the school at this juncture and are examining reuse options for
OF SCHOOLS IN WALKERVILLE