Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary; former Agassiz School

Address:26 Agassiz Drive
Original Use:Education

More Information

Built as Agassiz Elementary School for the Fort Garry School Division in 1961, this small school was open until 1985. Agassiz Elementary served a neighbourhood that had many members of faculty and staff from the nearby University of Manitoba.Declining enrolment led to the closure of the school. It was used as administrative office space for a few years.

In 1994, the school was purchased for use as the Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School. It has now been named the Katherine Friesen Campus.

In 2014 the Ft.Garry campus underwent a major renovation, including a bright and open new front entrance, a new workspace, and an overall welcoming and contemporary new look.

The Katherine Friesen Campus is an elementary school, which is home to approximately 150 students each year in grades Kindergarten to grade six. Children and parents at the school are all treated as part of a school family and forge cross-grade bonds through classroom, playground and special event activities.

Design Characteristics

  • It is in two distinct sections with a link between; it is a unique design that has maintained a high degree of integrity
  • The original section is on the east side of the south-facing building is boxy and angular but is neither harsh nor utilitarian due to careful detailing, the use of an unusual grey face brick and a quirky roofline that dips slightly to the middle and only in the back half
  • These original windows are intact, in singles and triples with awning transomsin the front administrative section, and stacked vertically in the classrooms on the east and west sides moving toward the rear
  • The west block addition beyond the link, also boxy, has a different plan and details but continues the established scale and use of the grey brick; forest green trim all round further knits together the two sections
  • The grounds are beautifully landscaped from many years ago and the entire site enjoys a high level of maintenance

Links & Related Buildings

  • “Commercial developments,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 1961, page 58.