The Red Brick School
Val Marie Village School
Links and documents
1927/01/01 to 1927/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Red Brick School is a Municipal Heritage Property occupying a .82-ha lot at 100 Centre Street in the Village of Val Marie. The property features a two-room brick schoolhouse built in 1927. The parcel also contains non-contributing resources consisting of a school constructed in the 1950s, playground equipment, and basketball and tennis courts.
The heritage value of the Red Brick School lies in its representative architecture. The school was designed and built by the Waterman-Waterbury Company, a school supply company that provided plans, equipment and construction contracting services for many of Saskatchewan’s smaller schools of the period. The Waterman-Waterbury designs, typified by simple square or rectangular plans, hip roofs and distinctive window walls, became the prototypes for one- and two-room schools built in Saskatchewan during the first half of the twentieth century. While there were once over 5,000 small, autonomous school districts in the province, most with their own schoolhouse, economic and demographic change has resulted in the consolidation of administrative units in the school system. Today, fewer than 80 large school divisions serve the province’s educational needs, and most of the old schoolhouses have disappeared from the landscape.
Further heritage value resides in the Red Brick School’s association with the settlement and development of Val Marie. Built within a year of Val Marie’s incorporation as a village, the school’s substantial brick-and-tile construction reflects the small community’s commitment to education and its optimism for future growth. As the village grew and the student population increased, some classes were moved from the brick school to a nearby convent in 1939. By the 1950s, country schools were closing due to declining enrollments, and their remaining students were being bussed to schools in villages and towns. To accommodate this influx, a third classroom was opened in the basement of the brick schoolhouse in 1953. After a new four-room school was built in 1959, the brick schoolhouse continued to provide classroom space for primary grades until its closure in 1985. Today, the brick school building continues to be a valued community landmark, serving as a museum dedicated to the interpretation of local history.
Village of Val Marie Bylaw No. 1/98.
The heritage value of the Red Brick School resides in the following character-defining elements:
-architectural elements typical of small prairie schoolhouses, including the building’s simple massing and form; its hip roof; the central entranceway with double wood doors; the double-hung, multi-pane windows in their original wood casings; the window arrangement; shake shingles; wood flooring and mouldings; painted plaster walls and ceiling; cast iron heating grills; and the floor plan consisting of a short flight of stairs with wood banisters leading to a vestibule that opens to the cloakroom and classroom areas;
-fixtures that reflect the building’s use as a school, including chalkboards, built-in bookcases, drinking fountain, and replicated nameplate above the entrance;
-elements that contribute to the school’s landmark status, including its distinctive red brick walls, its location on its original site, and the open grounds around the building..
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1927/01/01 to 1985/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Composite School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 1863
Cross-Reference to Collection