In 1907, public school classes were held in 2 rooms in the building known as Sweder’s Meat Market on 4th Street SE. Three years later, Riverside School, a three-storey sandstone building was constructed at 1st Avenue and 6th Street NE. It had a playroom in the basement and an assembly hall on the top floor. It was one of several large sandstone schools built in response to Calgary’s population boom in the decade preceding the First World War.
As enrollments grew, a four room frame bungalow, Riverside Bungalow School No. 1, was built in 1911. Almost a decade later, a four room brick bungalow, Riverside School No. 2 opened. The two bungalows together were known as Riverside Elementary.
When Alberta adopted its junior high school system in 1934-35, Riverside School was one of three Calgary schools designated as a junior high and the only one of these to serve exclusively as a junior high school. With this change in status, it was decided to rename the school to Langevin, after the late 1800s political figure, Sir Hector Louis Langevin, and Anglican Archbishop Louis Philippe Langevin. Elementary classes were moved to the Riverside Bungalows.
After the Langevin Junior High school was destroyed by fire in 1966 (only the gym on the west side was saved), the new Langevin Community Elementary and Junior High School was officially opened in 1968. It featured a gym, library, and science, home economics and industrial arts complexes.
In 1971, Langevin School became Calgary’s first community school, with funding for a community-based curriculum and a mandate to be open in the summer and in the evening hours for community use. During that time, Langevin was also the only public school to have a regular marching band.
Langevin School today is home to the Science Alternative Program (K-9), the Chinese Bilingual Program (Grades 7-9) and ACCESS, a system special education class.
(Resources: “Community With A View. A Heritage Tour of Bridgeland-Riverside, 1989. “From Slate Pencil to Instant Ink. Calgary’s Public, Separate and Private Schools. Accounts by Calgary Authors.” 1975)