The unexpected period of growth in Burnaby during the first few years of the 1950s resulted in many overcrowded schools. As a result, the School Board decided it required a Junior High to alleviate enrolment issues at Gilmore Avenue Elementary-Junior school. Alpha opened in 1950 with 423 students. The new school had 12 rooms but added more in 1953. There were fires at the school in 1956 and 1964, resulting in the rebuilding of seven classrooms, library and administrative offices. There were additions made in 1968 and 1969 and in 1976 a gymnasium was built.