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General Brock Public School

by David L. Newman

In 1797 you couldn't see the forest for the trees around here. Then, for various reasons, it was decided to build a settlement and call it Sandwich.

What lay ahead for this settlement, entire books have been written. But, I'd like to devote a page to tell you about a little piece of land in this old community. 

I speak of the odd shaped plot on the Southwest corner of Sandwich and Brock Streets, where General Brock Public School now stands, named after a famous British/Canadian military figure, Major General Sir Isaac Brock. Sit back, close your eyes and imagine walking on this same land nearly 200 years ago. In 1808 a store barrocks was the first building on this site.  Perhaps you and the General are in the barrocks planning the invasion of Detroit with Chief Tecumseh. 

sandwich1.jpgBy 1868, the war was long over and the town was growing fast. The need for a school became paramount. Postcard #1 (left) shows the "Sandwich Public School, on Bedford St., now Sandwich St. in Sandwich, Ontario, Canada", which I presume to be Sandwich's first school. The postcard is dated 1909 and the back reads, "ÚThis is a picture of the school that I attended in Sandwich."  The school had a fireplace at each end and a steeple with most likely a bell. This school was in use until the school year 1914-1915. 

In 1915, General Brock Public School was built.  Not many people know this but the school built in 1868 still remained!  This newer school was built around it.  Once the new school was built, most of the older part was taken down; the second school stood for 84 years.

In 1999, after much deliberation, General Brock was torn down.  In early May of 2000, the official opening of the new Gesandwich2.jpgneral Brock Public School took place. 

This new school has several innovations, including a branch of the Windsor Public Library.  Student population can go as high as 450 children.  There are 18 classrooms, all containing a collapsable wall, which when opened, allows two classes to work together.  There will also be no more "teacher, I need to go get a drink." Each room has its own sink and water fountain.  There are two gymnasiums with a folding door between them to allow two classes to use the gym simultaneously. 

The Windsor Police Department also has a precinct in the school;  the Sandwich Community Patrol has 26 officers working in this precinct. There is even a day care centre in the school: Sundowners Day Care and Resource Centre, which can handle as many as 70 youngsters. 

It took some special planning to make a school as functional as General Brock.  This school is sure to remain a major asset to the Towne of Sandwich for many years to come.

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