By Geoffrey G. Bell
With the great building boom of the 1960s and early 1970s, school space in the West Riverview area reached crisis proportions by 1973. School District 15 decided to purchase from Bryon Dobson a piece of land roughly bounded by Whitepine Road, Canusa Drive, Waterfall Drive and Trites Road to build a new school with many modern innovations. The new Trites Road School as it was known in the beginning was designed by architect, Robert Eaton, and built by Abbey Landry Construction Ltd. Not long after the school opened in the fall of 1973, the school was renamed the Claude D. Taylor School.
Claude Devere Taylor was born at Edgett's Landing in September, 1911. He graduated from Hillsborough High School and later the Provincial Teachers' College. He was elected Valedictorian of his class. He taught for 13 years in schools at The Glades, Cape Tormentine, Gunningsville and Campbello Island. He eventually left the teaching profession and started a Real Estate and Insurance business. He was elected to the provincial Legislature Assembly in 1952 an served the Riverview area until 1970. He was Minister of Education from 1952 to 1960.
The official opening of the school was held March 25, 1974, where guests heard remarks from the Honourable Brenda Robertson, Minister of Social Services; the Honourable Lorne McGuigan, Minister of Education; Mayor Harold Finlay; and Russell Coates, Chairman of the Board of School Trustees; School District 15. Mrs. C.D. Taylor officiated at the ribbon cutting ceremony followed by musical selections by school students.
At this time, the school design was rather dramatic and new to this area. It was carpeted throughout with triangular classrooms facing open corridors. Each area of three classrooms had its own mudroom and washrooms. The Home and School built a large creative playground at the rear of the school in 1978.
The school has experienced many growing pains with the school population rising as high as 950 students with 10 portable classrooms. By the 1980s with the construction of Riverview High School, the school population had returned to a normal 650 students. Geoffrey Bell has served as its principal from the opening until this "Bicentennial Year" of our province.