BELLEVILLE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE
Belleville Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, the city's only public high school for over a quarter of a century, stood on this site on land set aside for educational purposes in the municipality's original town plan in 1816. The collegiate institute was the fourth school structure to occupy this site and was built to replace the aging Belleville High School (which stood where the playing field on the west side of the property is, from the time of its construction in 1873 until its demolition following the completion of BCI in 1928.)
The school, considered an example of early modern school architure, was designed by well-known local architect J. Arnold Thomson and was projected to cost the local board of education an estimated $560,000. Construction of the new collegiate institute began in late 1927 with the cornerstone being laid on October 5 of that year. The three-storey rectanguler brick structure, which was completed in just under a year, consisted of a perimeter of classrooms surrounding a central core that included the school's two gymnasiums on the lower floors and an ornate 1,000-plus seat auditorium on the upper floors.
The school was officially opened on December 12, 1928 and for the next 64 years would faithfully serve the needs of thousands of students from Belleville and the surrounding region as a multi-purpose educational facility.
The school was closed in 1992 and stood vacant until its demolition in the spring of 2004 following an unsuccessful attempt to convert the building into a cultural centre.
Several components of the school and assorted items of BCI memorabilia have been preserved and are to be found throughout the community as a visible reminder that the spirit of BCI lives on.
This monument was raised in honour of B.C.I. & V.S. and all of the staff and students who were privileged to pass through its doors during the 64 years it served an as educational facility.
Erected by the B.C.I. & V.S. Alumni Association in September 2005 with the generous financial assistance of many alumnus and friends.
The central panel, cornerstone and bricks used to construct this monumnet were salvaged from the school site following its demolition. In addtion, three time capsules, the original 1927 time capsule, the 50th anniversary time capsule and a monument time capsule have been enclosed within the structure.
GPS Location: 44 09' 58.61" N -77 22' 53.30 W (44.16611111, -77 22' 53.3 W)
Street Location: 275 Church Street, Belleville