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History

Brief History of Mount Barker High School

Students of Mt Barker HS, about 1910On Monday, July 20th, 1908, fifteen boys and twelve girls stepped through our gates for the very first time to discover a place of inspiration, camaraderie, education and vision.

Having recognised the significant gap between primary school and university, the Mount Barker community lobbied to establish a local high school, with the first classes being held in temporary facilities at the corner of Adelaide Road and Druids Avenue. Together with Adelaide High School, it was one of the first free secondary schools to be established in the Commonwealth of Australia.

On the 12thJuly 1911, the state government purchased the current school site and began building the new school two years later.

With 44 students enrolled, Mount Barker District High School opened on Monday 15thJuly 1914, in the building that now houses our Performing Arts Studio.

Over the next hundred years, the school grew and developed into the pioneering centre of education we see today, while always retaining its close links to the wider Mount Barker community.

The following chronology provides a brief snapshot of the history of our school and its facilities:

1908: School opens in temporary facilities

1911: Land purchased for the construction of the school

1914: Buildings on the school’s current site opened

1938: Assembly Hall opened

1944: Head Masters’ residence purchased

1948: Additional land purchased for construction of an oval

1952: Memorial gates donated by the Old Scholars, and transportable classrooms installed

1958: Permanent building erected for the Domestic Arts Centre

1963: Tennis courts officially opened and named ‘J.E Smith Memorial’

1971: Building started on the new school development, officially opening in 1973

1980: $3.5 million redevelopment of the school commenced

1987: School gymnasium built

2005: Resource centre named ‘Howlett Resource Centre’

2011: Electrotechnology Centre and cabinet making facilities built

2012: Outdoor Education shed erected. Interior of the school refurbished

2014: State-of-the-art IT infrastructure installed and ‘21stCentury Technology Classroom’ developed

2019:  $2.5 million redevelopment of the STEM learning area

2020:  $6 million redevelopment of the school commences

Historical Image Gallery

Please click on the images below to enlarge.