Description of Historic Place
Riverland School, a one-storey wooden building completed in 1924, occupies a quiet former schoolyard property that also includes a teacherage near a rural road southeast of Lac du Bonnet. The municipal designation applies to the school and its 1,000-square-metre site.
Riverland School, domestic in proportions and fronted by a broad storm porch, is a fine example of a one-room rural schoolhouse from the mid-1920s and the last remaining facility of its type in the Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet. Based on one of the larger standardized Manitoba Department of Education designs from the period, the structure features an obligatory bank of windows along one side of its multigrade classroom, upper openings for fresh air circulation, cloakrooms lighted by side windows and a central entrance protected by a canopy. The sturdy, practical building, situated on land donated by Gus Anderson, served students from grades one to eight for over four decades, many from Swedish families who settled in the area. Declared a heritage site with the generosity of its present owner, the school remains an important legacy of the Riverland community's commitment to the formal education of local children.
Source: Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet By-law No. 3-2008, December 11, 2008
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Riverland School site include:
- the rural location southeast of Lac du Bonnet adjacent to Riverland Road and north-south alignment, facing north from within grassed grounds
Key elements that define the school's domestic proportions and practical standardized design include:
- the basic symmetrical two-part massing composed of a one-storey rectangular section fronted by a broad, lower porch, both of wood-frame construction clad in horizontal wood siding
- the medium-pitched gable roofs, with the slightly bellcast main roof forming shallow eaves
- the schoolhouse-type fenestration, mainly rectangular single-hung sash windows with simple glazing bars, casings and sills, including a large five-window bank on the east side with transomed end windows, two smaller hopper windows high on the west side, cloakroom openings, etc.
- the restrained details, including the painted finishes, cedar shingles, brick chimney with drip moulding, ribbon board with the school's painted name, wide, shallow entrance canopy with solid wood brackets and a hip roof, panelled wood and glass door, plain bargeboards, simple carved wood finials, etc.
Key internal elements that define the building's heritage character and layout include:
- the formal plan composed of a small vestibule with a closest, storage area and cloakrooms, separated from the spacious classroom by a short pony wall
- the largely unaltered and well-lit open classroom with a high ceiling
- the straightforward finishes and details, including panel-board walls and ceiling with wood battens, plank floors, simple mouldings, a built-in library cupboard, blackboards on the south wall, etc.