Thomas Lowther decided to build "the school on the Hill" in 1903. Leslie R. Flairn from Aylesford, N.S, designed the school and construction began in 1911 by a company known as Victor Wood Works. HG Hagan and Company installed the plumbing and heating. The school was built of local red brick and reinforced concrete with ornate tin-covered ceilings. West Highlands School first opened its doors to students in 1912. During its early days, the janitor/caretaker would live in a basement appartment within the school. He lived there because someone had to tend the fire.
   In 1912 there were twelve classes and thirteen teachers in the school. The number of classes was expanded to fifteen rooms three years later. In 1912 students attended from grades One through Eight with a population of 765 children. By 1971 there were only 373 children from grades One to Six. As has been the case across the province, enrollment has declined over the years. In 1997 the school served 269 students and 250 students in grades Primary to Six by 2003. In 2011 our student population sat at 210 students. Nine teachers conducted classes from grades Primary to six with specialists teaching Program Support, French, Music, and Physical Education. Seven Educational Assistants helped provide programming to the students of West Highlands.
Interesting Facts
  • The basement of the school used to contain separate rooms for girls and boys' play area
  • A 250-horse power boiler that was controlled by the school janitor provided the heat.
  • The children came in the back doors, one for boys and the other for girls.
  • West Highlands School was built at a cost of $34 562.
  • West Highlands School still has some of the original features such as the front doors and metal ceilings.
  • The classroom doors still have peek holes so the principal can see in without disturbing the class.


West Highlands School was replaced with a new building in March 2015. The first day the doors were open to students was March 25, 2015. Our new school is a beautiful faciliy which features a large gym and all the newest technologies. We are located at 18 Maltby Court in Amherst, Nova Scotia.