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The Riverside School

Lyndonville, Vermont

This historic school was originally constructed as a residence in 1864 and handed down from generation to generation. In 1976, it was purchased when the original family could no longer afford its upkeep. Several renovations were made. The owners also started a school in their house because they wanted their elementary-age children to have a more comprehensive educational experience. They wanted their children to learn French and to explore hands-on learning in a small community. When the local schools closed, new families, open to new teaching opportunities, joined together to form what was then called the Riverside Day School.


The barn, one of the original structures, was converted to classroom space. As is typical with older buildings, the barn was failing. It’s foundation was failing and structural weakness was evident. After significant investigation into alternatives for salvaging the barn were exhausted, it was determined to remove the structure and replace it with a modern, energy efficient building that met the program requirements for the growing enrollment.


The design required a great deal of sensitivity in order to respect the scale of the main building and provide a new structure that was not overpowering but larger in size. The design enlarged the multipurpose space by nearly 100% while maintaining the scale and context of the main building. This was accomplished by extending the building’s footprint behind the street view of the main structure on the site. The original cupola from the Barn was repaired and reinstalled on the new building. The project includes a total of 8,000 square feet of program space including two classrooms, a science room, art/music room and a large storage room. Many former students and alumni upon first arrival to the new project have stated that they believed that the “old barn” had been repaired and renovated.

Photos: Top Kat Photography

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