The town of Kimberley sits on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa and Kinbasket peoples who inhabited the region for thousands of years. The site on which Central and Watkins will stand has been central to the history of this beautiful town, housing two separate schools through Kimberley’s formative years.
The Central School was constructed in 1920. By that time, the small mining town that was settled as Mark Creek Crossing had changed its name to Kimberley and was expanding with large scale ore production. As more workers and their families moved to the area, the school was required to expand.
A new school was opened in 1949 as Watkins School. It was the largest school in the region and the first to have a gymnasium. It was named after A.A Watkins who was a School Board Trustee for 33 years.
The original Central School was torn down in 1975. In 1983, the Watkins School was closed, and the City of Kimberley purchased the site for $1.
For the next 15 years, several interested parties had visions for development, but nothing came to fruition. In 1997, the buildings were demolished, and the site remained vacant until it was purchased by Archer Properties in 2020. We are proud to have the opportunity to be a part of the next chapter in this beautiful town’s story.