Mar 14, 2017

Riverside School in Medicine Hat, Alberta

Constructed in 1916, Riverside School is an elementary school located in Medicine Hat, Alberta. From its classic brickwork and original slate chalkboards to the mid-century stained woods and separate boys and girls entrances, there's a lot of character that a building collects over a century. Sadly, at the end of this current term Riverside School will be shutting its doors for good. 

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Understanding my appreciation for documenting historic and cultural sites, I was invited to explore and photograph Riverside School as it looked in its final few months of operation. Similar to the former Earl Kitchener School, which was also built in 1916, the cost to modernize and maintain the building are cited as the main reasons for closure. While the future of the building remains unknown at this time, it will cease to be a public school come June.
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta






Riverside School is an interesting mish-mash of history rolled into a modern school. Smart boards cover blackboards, computer stations are fitted where the original architects never would have considered them, and simple things like wood stain separate the original part of the school with the expansion that was added to the back in the 1950s. In many ways the classrooms aren't dramatically different from other elementary schools, and yet, for any of the thousands of kids who went here over the decades I can imagine that nostalgia clearly sets them apart. 

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta


Much like when I photographed Medicine Hat High School prior to its massive renovation last year, there's always a bit of sadness in seeing a chapter come to a close. However, it is the change that keeps things interesting and progressing. No doubt, Riverside School will be missed, especially as things start getting packed up in the months ahead.

Enjoy this visual exploration of the school as it was, and stay tuned for the second half of my images from Riverside School when they go live here. Also, explore even more Medicine Hat history and original photo essays by checking out my Around the Hat photo series.

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta


Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Boys entrance and the back expansion added in the 1950s.
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta



Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Girls entrance.

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
New school bell and old school bell.

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta


Kids heights marked on the wall in the gym.
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta



Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Brick mural by James Marshall.

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta



Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School cornerstone laid on December 11, 1916.
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta

Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta
Riverside School Medicine Hat Alberta




3 comments :

bev johnson said...

Thank you for sharing these nostalgic pictures, I attended a likewise named school in Calgary from grades 4 to 6

Nikki said...

What will become of this school? I love that you document the dinosaurs of our world.

Flee said...

I attended this school from in 1942/43, grade 5 and 6. I had to walk a long way from just past the Railroad Bridge to school, and one winter I remember my ears froze black! Was there a principal name Allergoth? Pardon the spelling, but the name is familiar. Thanks for these pictures and others of Midicine Hat from those days. Brings back a lot of memories.