The Carey Road Campus consisted of a schoolhouse of British Arts and Crafts style, built in 1931/32 as Mount View High School, plus a gym, a vocational wing, and a portable that became a Camosun College child care centre.
Camosun’s growth of Student Services in 1986 brought registration and advising to complement bookstore and library services already in place. One office provided space for counselling, financial aid, and the Ombudsperson, each on a different days.
The campus housed about 400 students in Adult Basic Education and English Language Development, plus up to 200 students in Office Administration, Nautical Training, Employment Orientation for Women and Basic Employment Skills Training. Many students at Carey Road were beginning an educational journey after diverse life challenges and changes. Staff and faculty strove to treat each student with kindness and support. Crises were handled with teamwork and equanimity. Student poverty was the norm and successes were celebrated.
Sports were an important part of the Carey Road ethos. The Camosun Chargers began in the Carey Road Gym, and college-wide intramural sports were held here. But slo-pitch softball was the really big game for Carey Road: for a few years in the 1980’s and beyond, almost every department had someone who played. Games held on spring evenings and annual tournaments created collegiality that was unique to that time and place.
The buildings often needed repair; buckets and mops were at hand to catch rainwater. The ESL teachers taught the word “potable” the day the “Water not potable” signs were posted in 1992 after lead tests were done. Sunlight through damaged venetian blinds made classrooms too bright to use overhead projectors. Nevertheless, camaraderie thrived amidst the physical challenges.
Story by Patty Beatty-Guenter,