Some of the alumni from one of Barrie’s oldest schools, Barrie Central Collegiate Insitute, dismantled the goalposts in the school’s athletic field so the pieces could be distributed to former students and coaches.
Barrie Central is Simcoe County’s second-oldest school having opened its doors in 1843, but after years of declining enrollment, the school was unfortunately forced to close its doors in 2016. However, because of the enduring memory of both the academic and athletic accomplishments of the school, former students and coaches wanted to ensure a piece of the school’s history could be cherished by anyone who spent time there.
The goalposts were taken down and will be cut into around 80 pieces and distributed to alumni and coaches so they can make trophies, placards, and displays. “The history of Barrie is entrenched in the history of Central,” said Steve Porter, who was a student at Barrie Central from 1977 to 1982 and later returned to teach at the school from 1998 to 2016. “The who’s who of Barrie, the movers and the shakers, the people who have been around a long time, multigeneration families who all went to Central”.
To be able to walk away with a piece of history that might otherwise be forgotten means a lot to those who dedicated themselves to Central, especially their athletic programs such as their rugby team. Steve Porter went on to say “We won championships when I played here, we won championships when I coached here. When I look at the posts I remember all of the hours that we spent sweating and sacrificing on the field. It’s a massive part of who I am”.
“We love this initiative that the alumni have taken here,” said Joel Doherty from property owner HIP Developments. “There is such a rich history of sports success from Barrie Central and such a great passion. Hearing how many former student-athletes are interested in getting a piece of these storied uprights – we said yes immediately and are so happy to see this happen for them.”
The area where Barrie Central is located is part of a downtown redevelopment project that includes 3 rental apartment buildings totalling around 600 units along with a 75,000 square foot YMCA in the hopes of bringing hundreds of new residents to the downtown core community, who will, in turn, support local businesses.