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Ridgeway Public School

Ridgeway Public School

Ridgeway Public School

Contact At:

143 Ridge Road
L0S 1N0,1

  905 894 3751

Ridgeway Public School:

About Ridgeway Public School

The History Of the School and the Clock Tower of Ridgeway Public School

Education had evolved rapidly in the 20th Century. Coinciding with its advancement has been the steady improvement of educational facilities. One-room school houses had been retired to make way for more complex multi-level learning centres. Ridgeway Public School exemplifies one such early transition.

 To accommodate a more populous township, and in response to the growing priority that education was receiving, the local school board decided in 1919 that a multi-roomed school with modern facilities was a necessity. After a year of deliberations a man by the name of Bosuser was chosen to be the architect for this endeavour.

On July 30th, 1920, less than two months after the commission was granted, the cornerstone was laid. Due to inaccurate cost projections, Ridgeway Public School experienced a delayed transformation from its drawing board conception to its final architectural presence. However, Bosuser stayed true to his quest to balance the functional aspect of the building with its aesthetic form. As a result, Ridgeway Public School was crowned with a fully operational clock tower.

Lending a unique character to the building, the clock tower provided a four-faced timepiece to the town’s inhabitants. Resounding insistently at first, the clock tower sadly slipped into a stat of disrepair during the poverty-stricken years of the depression and World War II.

To romanticists and preservationists alike, such degeneration is viewed with melancholy. As the beneficiaries of a rich cultural heritage, most feel a sense of responsibility to maintain the achievements of the past. Preservation, however, often entails considerable expense. And so, for many years, the desire to restore the clock tower to its original state was weighed against the costs involved in restoration. In the meantime, the school’s inoperative centrepiece suffered further deterioration.

The dilemma reached a point in 1991 when it was calculated that the costs of restoration, would be less than the costs of demolition. With this in mind, the maintenance staff of the Niagara South Board of Education quickly welcomed the challenges involved in rehabilitating the historic structure.

Spearheading the reconstruction processes, the maintenance crew was pleased to find substantial community support for its endeavours. In particular, the Ridgeway Lions Club donated generously of their time, resources and people power.

The tower was graced with a restoration of its brickwork and decorative features. The clock hands and glass faces were refabricated with careful attention to preserve the style that their antiquity dictated. In addition, the mechanical drive unit was reconstructed and adapted to operate in conjunction with the school’s computerized clock system.

The clock tower as it stands today is a stately testament to the expertise that brought about its rebirth and is a clear reflection of the pride felt by those involved in its restoration. The present principal of Ridgeway Public School, Clyde Barnhart expressed a strong sense of gratitude towards those involved: “Many sacrifices have been made in the past to bring us to where we are today; the restoration of the clock tower at Ridgeway Public School will help future generations to recognize and appreciate their roots.”

On June 2, 1993 a plaque was presented to school officials to commemorate the full restoration of this truly unique community landmark.

The successful completion of this project is a tribute to the dedicated efforts of many community partners:

Ridgeway Lions Club

Welland Masonry

Simplex International Time Equipment Co.

Dominion Lightning Rod Co.

Niagara South Board Maintenance Department

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