Historic Sites of Manitoba: Carpathia School (300 Carpathia Road, Winnipeg)
This Winnipeg school was paid by the federal government treasury under a 1953 School District - Provincial - Federal Agreement. The Winnipeg School Division proceeded on plans to build a school to help accommodate children of Fort Osborne Barracks personnel, as well as those from the new military housing area in Tuxedo. The school was named on 21 April 1953, in honour of the SS Carpathia, the rescue ship which, in 1912, which heard the distress signals from the stricken SS Titanic and came to its aid.
The construction contract was awarded to the Peter Leitch Construction Company (PLCC) on 29 May 1953, at a bid price of $215,084. A sod-turning ceremony was held in early June, attended by Chairman A. N. Robertson, Commissioner of Buildings William Anderson Martin, trustees Mrs. E. R. Tennant, W. S. McEwen, “Nan” Murphy, Peter Duncan Curry, along with Federal Department of National Defence Major G. R. Hale, PLCC contractor G. H. Williamson, and Acting Superintendent of Schools Wesley Crawford Lorimer. With a contractually-established completion project duration of 150 days, bulldozers moved in shortly thereafter to begin clearing the property. With construction underway, the cornerstone was laid by Ward 1 trustee H. B. Parker at a ceremony on 30 July.
The frame construction and stucco-exterior school consisted of 14 classrooms, two of which were kindergarten classes and a larger multi-purpose room. Walls prominently featured prismatic glass blocks, which formed a large window-styled sections along the walls, allowing for refraction of natural light into the classrooms, and then reflected off the white-painted walls around the classrooms. The building was completed on 1 November, at which time PLCC President Cecil Rilkoff handed over the key to the school to William Anderson Martin at a ceremony held on the school’s steps. Also present at the ceremony was Dr. W. C. Lorimer, Assistant Superintendent G. T. Donell, Lieutenant Colonel R. R. Taylor (representing Major-General Norman Elliot Rodger, officer commanding Prairie Command), Chairman of the School Board Finance Committee Chairman Peter Duncan Curry, and PLCC Vice-President George W. Reynolds.
The schools doors opened to students later that month. The school contained chairs and tables in place of older-style desks, along with other modern amenities. It was officially opened by Winnipeg School Board Chairman Peter Duncan Curry on 12 March 1954 with a reception and ceremony in the schools auditorium. Also in attendance was Principal Richard Collier “Dick” Green, Winnipeg Schools’ Superintendent Wesley Crawford Lorimer, and Chief of Staff for Military District No. 10 Colonel W. C. Dick.
The school was expanded six rooms in 1955 at a cost around $50,000, built by PLCC. A second gymnasium was added in 1979.
Among the teachers of Carpathia School was Noma Grances Gibson (1970-1980).
Photos & Coordinates
“Govt. cheque for new school now in mail,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 April 1953, page 3.
“City firm gets $215,084 school contract award,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 May 1953, page 6.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 1953, page 3.
“Cornerstone of school to be laid Thursday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 July 1953, page 3.
“Carpathia School cornerstone laid,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1953, page 3.
“Unique school turned over to Board,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1953, page 15.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1953, page 15.
“Glass and color new school theme,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 1953, page 3.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 December 1953, page 3.
“School display and tea to mark opening of Carpathia School,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 March 1954, page 14.
[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 March 1954, page 7.
“24 school posts shuffled,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 1955, page 5.
“$2 million in new schools help house city’s pupils,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 August 1955, page 3.
“Principals, teachers for Winnipeg schools,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 August 1956, page 56.
“Winnipeg Teachers’ list announced,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1958, page 28.
“Reconsideration asked on school,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 February 1977, page 34.
Obituary [Noma Frances Gibson], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 July 1980, page 50.
“St. James bridge work heightens fears for school children crossing Kenaston,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 January 1982.
“Science fair?,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1998, page B3.
“Photo radar doing its job,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 2005, page B6.
“School of shop,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 August 2013, page B10.
Carpathia History, Winnipeg School Division.
Winnipeg School Division: Celebrating One Hundred Fifty Years, 1871-2021 by Winnipeg School Division, 2021.
We thank Marcey Dveris for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 7 May 2023